Soil variability and crop yield gaps in two village landscapes of Burkina Faso
Diarisso, Tidiane ; Corbeels, Marc ; Andrieu, Nadine ; Djamen, Patrice ; Douzet, Jean Marie ; Tittonell, Pablo - \ 2016
Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 105 (2016)3. - ISSN 1385-1314 - p. 199 - 216.
Farm typology - Nutrient balances - Resource use efficiency - Soil fertility gradients - West Africa
Low crop yields in the savannah zones of West Africa are commonly attributed to rainfall deficits and poor soil fertility. In this study, an assessment was made on how the position of fields belonging to different farm types can explain soil variability and related crop yield gaps in two villages in Burkina Faso, Yilou and Koumbia, located, respectively, in the Sudano-Sahelian and Sudanian agro-ecological zones. In each village, four farm types were identified. Soil fertility was generally poor and use of nutrient inputs low in most of the farmer’s fields . As a consequence, yields for most crops were low, but differences among farm types were found, which can be linked to their socioeconomic characteristics that influence the amount of inputs used. Application of fertilizers differed also between fields within farms and tended to be greater on the fields near the homesteads in the village of Yilou, especially for organic fertilizers. At both villages, the rates of N and K inputs were insufficient to compensate for their respective output rates, leading to negative partial nutrient balances . The existence of patchworks of soil fertility gives rise to a wide variation in crop responses to fertilizers. Exploitable yield gaps were substantial and to a large extent related to the low fertility status of soils and sub-optimal fertilizer applications.
Biomass transfers and nutrient budgets of the agro-pastoral systems in a village territory in south-western Burkina Faso
Diarisso, T. ; Corbeels, M. ; Andrieu, N. ; Djamen, P. ; Tittonell, P.A. - \ 2015
Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 101 (2015)3. - ISSN 1385-1314 - p. 295 - 315.
crop-livestock system - management strategies - northern nigeria - farming system - cover change - africa - sahel - vegetation - farmers - forage
Privatisation of grazing resources is emerging in the agro-pastoral systems of West Africa, resulting in increased pressure on the remaining communal rangelands and greater competition between farmers for access to crop residues. Differential management strategies arise as determined by household diversity. This study quantified the flows of biomass and related nutrient budgets in relation to farm diversity in Koumbia, a representative village of south-western Burkina Faso. Four farm types were identified: subsistence-oriented and market oriented crop farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists. Crop farmers collected about 30 % of their maize harvest residues for feeding during the dry hot season, while agro-pastoralists and pastoralists stocked about 50 % of their maize residues. Whilst the remaining crop residues on (agro)pastoralist farms were almost entirely grazed by their own cattle, about 90 % of the crop residues of crop farmers were consumed by cattle of (agro)pastoralists. On the other hand, available manure from cattle in the village was mainly used to fertilize the fields of the livestock owners. As a result, the cropped land of farmers with few livestock is continuously mined for nutrients. Calculated partial balances of N and K at farm level were negative for all farm types, except for N in the case of pastoralist farms. N and K balances of cropped fields were generally negative on all farm types. Partial balances of P were generally positive, which was to a large extent due to P fertilizer use. Better integration of crop and livestock production activities on farms and between farms offers a pathway to more efficient nutrient cycling with reduced nutrients losses.