Sustainable intensification through better integration of crop and livestock production systems for improved food security and environmental benefits in Sahelian zone of Burkina Faso
Summary: The overall goal of this project is to improve household food production and nutrition and to enhance ecosystem services through better integration of crop and livestock production systems in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso. The specific objectives are:
- To increase crop and livestock integration in these mixed systems through improved crop production (dual purpose sorghum and cowpea varieties), soil fertility (application of manure and inorganic fertilizer), water harvesting (zai and stone-bunding with vegetation strips) and livestock feed enhancing interventions (forage sorghum, dual purpose cowpea, efficient feeding systems).
- To assess the economic, social, nutritional and environmental benefits and tradeoffs of the productivity-enhancing interventions, and the potential for cost-efficient outscaling.
- To build capacity of smallholder farmers and researchers on sustainable intensification and improved nutrition through multistakeholders’ platforms and to provide platforms for co-learning.
The research activities will be solution-focused to meet the needs of farmers and will be implemented at both household and community levels in Dori and Ouahigouya districts in the Sahelian zone of Burkina Faso with rainfall between 300 and 600 mm per year. The main underlying hypothesis is that there is a great potential for the smallholder farmers currently engaged in crop-livestock systems to produce more in a given area of land, thereby improving productivity, food security and nutrition while preserving ecosystem services.
2017 Progress Updates
Participatory on-farm farmer-managed agronomic trials continued in FY 2017, utilizing an improved dual purpose cowpea variety (Kvx-745-11p) and improved sorghum variety (Sariasso). Incorporating experience from FY 2016, the experimental design was revised to three treatments: Control - only improved cowpea and sorghum varieties; Level 1 - Improved crop varieties with soil conservation techniques (zai and manure); Level 2 - Improved crop varieties with soil conservation, manure and fertilizer application.
A study assessing the efficiency of water use for livestock production under three livestock management systems – free range, sedentary, and transhumance – was conducted in two communities in each of the two project sites. The study data is currently being analyzed.
A tradeoff analysis of different intensification interventions and their possible effects on the income and food security of different farm household groups was conducted.
Analysis of socio-economic aspects behind variation in natural resource management and nutrition. The building of a GIS of the location of villages within the two study provinces has been completed tied to population data from the most previous national census (2006). A supervised classification approach has been developed and tested using the Google Earth Engine to distinguish cropped/recently-cropped fallows from uncropped land (using the different seasonal timing of green-up and brown-down among these land cover types).