Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 536444
Title A Comparative Analysis of Yield Gaps and Water Productivity on Smallholder Farms in Ethiopia, South Africa and Tunisia
Author(s) Jovanovic, Nebo; Musvoto, Constansia; Clercq, Willem De; Pienaar, Cou; Petja, Brilliant; Zairi, Abdelaziz; Hanafi, Salia; Ajmi, Tarek; Mailhol, Jean Claude; Cheviron, Bruno; Albasha, Rami; Habtu, Solomon; Yazew, Eyasu; Kifle, Muluberhan; Fissahaye, Degol; Aregay, Gebremeskel; Habtegebreal, Kiros; Gebrekiros, Abreha; Woldu, Yirga; Froebrich, Jochen
Source Irrigation and drainage (2018). - ISSN 1531-0353
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ird.2238
Department(s) WIMEK
Water and Food
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Amendements organiques - Fertilization management - Gestion de la fertilisation - Irrigation scheduling - Modèle PILOTE - Mulching - Organic amendments - Paillis - PILOTE model - Planification de l'irrigation
Abstract Agriculture in developing countries will have to transform and increase production by an estimated 70% in order to meet demands by 2050. Although well-managed commercial farms offer little manoeuvring space for increasing agricultural water productivity, smallholder farms usually operate at low input costs and therefore provide ample opportunities to reduce the potential yield gap through agricultural intensification. The aim of this paper is to analyse and compare yields and water productivities obtained in field and modelling experiments in Ethiopia (maize, garlic, onion), South Africa (tomato) and Tunisia (tomato, potato, wheat). Innovative agricultural practices were introduced on smallholder farms: irrigation scheduling and NPS Zn fertilization in Ethiopia; high-yielding cultivar, drip irrigation, mulching and organic amendments in South Africa; and crop water modelling in Tunisia. In general, crop yields increased up to eight times with innovative practices compared to current conventional farming practices. Crop water productivities were fairly stable within the same experiments, but increased with innovations, indicating that intensive farming can be more environmentally sustainable than conventional farming. Intensive farming systems in a resource-rich environment (high radiation levels, relatively fertile, deep and well-drained soils), combined with technology transfer and capacity building could be seen as viable strategies to secure food for smallholders and communities in African rural areas, as well as to improve water utilization in water-scarce catchments.
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