The African Conservation Tillage Network (ACTN) was initiated following a Stakeholders’ Workshop on “Conservation Tillage for Sustainable Agriculture” held in Zimbabwe in 1998 organized by Zimbabwe Farmers Union, German Development Co-operation (GTZ), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa (ARC). Driven by the desire among players to better and share more information and experiences on CA and related aspects, the Workshop ratified the initiation of a regional network as a mechanism to stimulate and facilitate cross-cutting and mutually exchange knowledge and information from experiences of CA. In 2000, under project support from GiZ, then GTZ, the Network formally established a full-time Secretariat with a Steering Committee to manage the Network. The Network has since evolved into a neutral platform, stimulating, facilitating and challenging for mutual sharing of information and knowledge on experiences and lessons on applications of CA and expanding to the whole region.
ACTN is a registered as a pan-African not-for-profit membership association that was initially commissioned with geographical focus on Southern, Central and East Africa. However, the Network has expanded responding to active interest from rest of the continent to west and North Africa. Existing potential for synergistic collaborations and knowledge sharing, enriched by the diversity, across the continent has justified ACTN reformation into a pan-African establishment with networking value within and between regions. Membership to the Network is voluntary bringing together stakeholders and players who are:
- Dedicated to improving agricultural productivity through sustainable management of natural resources in African farming systems.
- Committed to the principles of mutual collaboration, partnerships and sharing of information and knowledge on sustainable natural resource management and drawing on synergies and complementarities.
ACTN is established at three regional levels that include (i) Southern-Central Africa Region; (ii) East and Horn Africa Region; (iii) West-North Africa Region. This enables each region to articulate its main uniqueness, thrust and strengths as basis for inter-regional sharing and interaction. A distinct North Africa region is foreseen in the future.