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 up-scaling.
- To build capacity of smallholder farmers and researchers on sustainable intensification and improved nutrition through multi-stakeholders’ 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.
2018 Progress Updates
Established and completed agronomic trials with improved dual-purpose sorghum and cowpea varieties in eight project communities; feeding trials for fattening sheep to assess the effect of crop residues from these improved varieties on the growth of sheep; and feeding trials with lactating cows fed fodder from these same varieties.
Twenty-five out of the 50 households selected in each of the 8 project communities from the baseline surveys were selected for monitoring of their food consumption, household dietary diversity, especially among nursing mothers and their children between 6 and 36 months. The study aims at characterizing household nutrition and to assess the effect of different intensification options on household food security and nutrition.
Nutrition data collected from the eight study sites will allow the project to evaluate the distribution of access to food not only among surveyed households but among the separate eating groups within households (often shaped by gender).
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