In many countries where soil has been degraded or where farmers face difficult conditions, conservation agriculture has also been shown to improve yields through improved soil quality.
For example, in Zambia, a sample of 125 hand-hoe farmers using conservation farming in areas where land had been degraded was found to produce 1.5 tonnes more maize and 460 kg more cotton per hectare than did farmers practicing conventional ox-plough tillage.
GM crops and crop protection products can help increase yields by limiting losses.
Since 1996, the average yield impact across the total global area planted with insect resistant traits over the 11 year period has been +5.7 percent for corn traits (or an added 47 million tonnes of corn) and +11.1 percent for cotton traits (or an added 4.9 million tonnes).
In some countries, the benefits can be much higher, such as in India, where yields from cotton have increased by 54%.