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.
2019 Progress Updates
Assessment on the variation in access to land at the village scale. Classification accuracy has been assessed with overall accuracy values high for small-scale agriculture in dryland Africa. Village “influence zones” were estimated using a “population gravity approach”, whose boundaries are drawn based on the populations of each village and its neighboring villages. This represents a novel approach to evaluate resource endowments among villages with important implications for the targeting of the development initiatives.
Farmers' Field School (FFS) was conducted by APESS during the last cropping season (June to October 2019). The two focal persons for the FFS in each community were trained in improved agronomic practices. Four farmers' field schools have been established in each of the eight project communities. Each FFS is about 0.25 ha for improved cowpea variety and 0.25 ha also for improved sorghum variety. Each FFS consists of between 10 to 20 farmers including women.
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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