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Nesheim I.,University of Oslo | Reidsma P.,Wageningen University | Bezlepkina I.,LEI | Verburg R.,LEI | And 11 more authors.
Land Use Policy | Year: 2014

The need to enhance sustainable development of land use is more urgent than ever; specifically in developing countries where poverty and land degradation are often interlinked. To promote a common understanding of land use problems by experts, stakeholders and decision makers, it is essential to understand the system characteristics, including the complex feedbacks between drivers and impacts. To enhance sustainable development, appropriate policies need to be identified. In this paper, we analysed and compared seven case studies in Kenya, Mali, Tunisia, China, India, Indonesia and Brazil, representing different biophysical and socio-economic conditions and challenges. We analysed Driver Pressure State Impact Response (DPSIR) story lines of the land use problems, policy priorities and value trade-offs as identified by stakeholders and experts in National Policy Forums. Important drivers of land use change impacting main land use problems among the case studies were economic growth, technological development, immigration and agricultural intensification, in addition to existing policies. Of the latter the most important were related to domestic support through various forms of subsidies or access to credit, land tenure polices and liberalization policies. In the policy prioritization, the value trade-offs made by the National Policy Forums emphasize the environment rather than increased economic production. It is recognized that the environment needs to be improved to maintain and improve economic production in the long term, both in agriculture and in other sectors. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Belieres J.-F.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Hilhorst T.,Institute royal des tropiques KIT | Kebe D.,Institute deconomie rurale IER | Keita M.S.,Institute deconomie rurale IER | And 2 more authors.
Cahiers Agricultures | Year: 2011

Surveys were carried out in 2004 in the Office du Niger in Mali, to assess the contribution of irrigation schemes to poverty reduction. Results show that the situation is better in the Office du Niger than in any of the other rural areas in Mali, including the Ségou region. The investments in irrigation schemes have contributed to strong agricultural growth and a reduction in poverty amongst smallholder farmers. However, this positive effect is eroding because of the deterioration of production conditions, and a reduction in average size of fields due to a combination of population growth and a decrease in the area allocated to smallholders. New attributions are being granted to the private sector.


Gemenet D.C.,University of Hohenheim | Gemenet D.C.,Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization | Hash C.T.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics ICRISAT | Sanogo M.D.,Institute dEconomie Rurale IER | And 4 more authors.
Field Crops Research | Year: 2015

Pearl millet [. Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br] production on the acid sandy Sahelian soils in West Africa (WA) is severely limited by low plant-available phosphorus (P) in addition to erratic rainfall. We sought to examine the genetic variability for P uptake and P utilization efficiency in 180 WA pearl millet inbred lines or subsets thereof under low (LP) and high P (HP) conditions in one field and two pot experiments, determine the relationships among the measured traits and grain yield under field conditions at three other independent WA sites, and identify potential secondary selection traits for improving grain yield under LP. We observed genetic variation for P uptake and utilization in both seedling and mature plants. P utilization efficiency increased under LP conditions. Total P uptake was more important for grain production than P utilization under LP field conditions (. r=. 0.57*** vs r=. 0.30***). The estimated response to indirect selection was positive for most of the measured morphological and P-efficiency parameters. We conclude that both seedling and mature plant traits are potentially useful as secondary traits in selection of pearl millet for low-P adaptation. These results should be validated using heterozygous pearl millet genetic materials. Ultimately, pearl millet breeding activities for low P tolerance in WA should be integrated with other system-oriented research such as nutrient cycling, intercropping or rotations with legumes, better crop-tree-livestock integration, and modest applications of locally available rock phosphate. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Payne W.,Texas A&M University | Tapsoba H.,McKnight Foundation | Baoua I.B.,Institute Of Recherches Agronomiques Du Niger Inran | Malick B.N.,Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research INERA | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability | Year: 2011

The pearl millet head miner became a major pest in the West African Sahel during the droughts of 1972-1974, and has since remained a threat to food security. Pesticide control is unrealistic for subsistence farmers. Furthermore, there are no cultural control methods or genetic sources of resistance. Biological control was a possibility, but the required ecological knowledge did not exist in the 1970s. A biological control programme could have been rapidly developed through sustained and coordinated funding using existing knowledge. Instead, it took 25 years to lay the scientific groundwork through occasional bursts of uncoordinated short-term activity using international scientists funded by large donors. There was little funding and few prominent roles for national scientists until 2000, when they were empowered by a different approach taken by the McKnight Foundation. An operational system was quickly developed and deployed in which trained farmers rear and release the parasitoid Habrobracon hebetor to effectively eliminate the head miner. The national programme scientists demonstrated admirably that, when trusted and adequately supported and empowered, African researchers can deliver real and effective solutions that are scientifically sound, meet the needs of smallholder farmers, and contribute significantly to improved food security, community resilience and reduced poverty. © 2011 Earthscan.


Bene C.,Worldfish Center | Evans L.,James Cook University | Mills D.,Worldfish Center | Mills D.,James Cook University | And 8 more authors.
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2011

Resilience thinking is an important addition to the range of frameworks and approaches that can be used to understand and manage complex social-ecological systems like small-scale fisheries. However, it is yet to lead to better environmental or development outcomes for fisheries stakeholders in terms of food security, improved livelihoods and ecological sustainability. This paper takes an empirical approach by focusing on the fundamentals of resilience thinking to evaluate its usefulness in developing relevant management interventions in small-scale fisheries in the Niger River Basin in West Africa. The paper presents the outputs of a participatory assessment exercise where both fishery communities and local experts were involved at two different scales. The resilience frame used was designed to facilitate the identification of socially defined thresholds that help delineate the desirability of the current system configuration and provides a diagnosis framework that tailors management solutions to problems in local context. The analysis highlights some key contributions from resilience thinking to the challenge of diagnosis in small-scale fisheries management in developing countries, as well as important contributions that emerge from taking a pragmatic and critical approach to its application. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Ollenburger M.H.,Wageningen University | Descheemaeker K.,Wageningen University | Crane T.A.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Sanogo O.M.,Institute dEconomie Rurale IER | Giller K.E.,Wageningen University
Agricultural Systems | Year: 2016

The World Bank argued that West Africa's Guinea Savannah zone forms part of “Africa's Sleeping Giant,” where increases in agricultural production could be an engine of economic growth, through expansion of cultivated land in sparsely populated areas. The district of Bougouni, in southern Mali, falls within this zone. We used multiple data sources including a panel survey, remote sensing-based land cover classification, population data, and farmer focus group discussions, to investigate whether the area is following a commonly-described pathway of agricultural intensification due to increasing land scarcity. We then used our understanding of historical change to explore plausible future pathways. Bougouni forms part of the expansion zone of the CMDT, which since the mid-1980s has provided support for intensive agricultural systems of cotton-maize rotations with animal traction and use of mineral fertilizer. In the period of the panel survey (1994–2012), cropped land at household level was correlated with household size: households with less than one full team of draft oxen cultivated 0.50 ha/family member, while households with two or more teams cultivated 0.82 ha/family member (R2 > 0.8). At the village level, cropped land increases varied with the amount of remaining available land and the importance of off-farm income. We see some intensification in maize and cotton, and corresponding improvements in food self-sufficiency. However, despite increasing fertilizer use, average maize and cotton yields remain around 1600 and 900 kg/ha respectively, well below national averages. Other crops are still grown in outfields relying on long fallows with limited nutrient inputs. Thus rather than either intensification or extensification the agricultural situation may be best described as stagnation. This may be due to limited incentives to invest in agriculture when compared to opportunities such as gold mining or small businesses, which (in 2012) contribute at least 25% of household income to ten out of 29 households. In future, cropland expansion will likely continue, which could lead to increased conflict between farmers and transhumant herders, and could lead to increased inequality at village level. Factors mitigating the tendency to land expansion include opportunities for off-farm income and migration, or market opportunities and capacity to produce high-value crops such as mango, cashew, or vegetables. This could preserve some remaining savannah area for grazing use and conservation purposes. Understanding household livelihood systems as part of a network of complex social and ecological factors allows the identification and exploration of multiple viable pathways towards desirable futures. © 2016


Smale M.,Michigan State University | Diakite L.,Institute dEconomie Rurale IER | Keita N.,Kene Consulting
Environment and Development Economics | Year: 2012

Although farmers in the Malian Sahel depend on millet for survival, demand and supply constraints have impeded their use of certified seed. We use data collected from households, vendors and seed samples to test the way market purchases of grain and seed affect household food consumption and millet genetic diversity. Purchase of millet grain in markets contributes to food security, but reduces dietary diversity - suggesting that scarce cash was directed toward meeting staple food needs first. Farmers purchased millet grain for seed only in the site with riskier rainfall and smaller market fairs. Although they were more likely to purchase in markets where the genetic dissimilarity of seed was higher, purchasing seed in markets was negatively associated with on-farm diversity. Seed shortage rather than variety experimentation appears to be the motivation for seed purchase. Introducing certified seed in rural markets through small-scale traders will require the provision of market services and promotional efforts. © Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press.


Traore B.,Institute DEconomie Rurale IER | Traore B.,Wageningen University | Corbeels M.,Center de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement | van Wijk M.T.,Wageningen University | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Agronomy | Year: 2013

In West Africa predictions of future changes in climate and especially rainfall are highly uncertain, and up to now no long-term analyses are available of the effects of climate on crop production. This study analyses long-term trends in climate variability at N'Tarla and Sikasso in southern Mali using a weather dataset from 1965 to 2005. Climatic variables and crop productivity were analysed using data from an experiment conducted from 1965 to 1993 at N'Tarla and from a crop yield database from ten cotton growing districts of southern Mali. Minimum daily air temperature increased on average by 0.05. °C per year during the period from 1965 to 2005 while maximum daily air temperature remained constant. Seasonal rainfall showed large inter-annual variability with no significant change over the 1965-2005 period. However, the total number of dry days within the growing season increased significantly at N'Tarla, indicating a change in rainfall distribution. Yields of cotton, sorghum and groundnut at the N'Tarla experiment varied (30%) without any clear trend over the years. There was a negative effect of maximum temperature, number of dry days and total seasonal rainfall on cotton yield. The variation in cotton yields was related to the rainfall distribution within the rainfall season, with dry spells and seasonal dry days being key determinants of crop yield. In the driest districts, maize yields were positively correlated with rainfall. Our study shows that cotton production in southern Mali is affected by climate change, in particular through changes in the rainfall distribution. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Traore B.,Institute DEconomie Rurale IER | Traore B.,Wageningen University | Van Wijk M.T.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Descheemaeker K.,Wageningen University | And 4 more authors.
Field Crops Research | Year: 2014

In the Sudano-Sahelian region, smallholder agricultural production is dominated by rain-fed production of millet, sorghum and maize for food consumption and of cotton for the market. A major constraint for crop production is the amount of rainfall and its intra and inter-annual variability. We evaluated the effects of planting date on the yield of different varieties of four major crops (maize, millet, sorghum and cotton) over three contrasting growing seasons in 2009-2011 (with 842. mm, 1248. mm and 685. mm of rainfall respectively) with the aim of identifying climate adaptation options in the Sudano-Sahelian region. Three planting dates (early, medium, and late) and three varieties of long, medium, and short duration of each crop were compared. For fertilized cereal crops, maize out yielded millet and sorghum by respectively 57% and 45% across the three seasons. Analysis of 40 years of weather data indicates that this finding holds for the longer time periods than the length of this trial. Late planting resulted in significant yield decreases for maize, sorghum and cotton, but not for millet. However, a short duration variety of millet was better adapted for late planting. When the rainy season starts late, sorghum planting can be delayed from the beginning of June to early July without substantial reductions in grain yield. Cotton yield at early planting was 28% larger than yield at medium planting and late planting gave the lowest yield with all three varieties. For all four crops the largest stover yields were obtained with early planting and the longer planting was delayed, the less stover was produced. There was an interaction between planting date and variety for millet and sorghum, while for maize and cotton the best planting date was more affected by the weather conditions. The findings of this study can support simple adaptation decisions: priority should be given to planting cotton early; maize is the best option if fertilizer is available; planting of maize and sorghum can be delayed by up to a month without strong yield penalties; and millet should be planted last. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | IRSAT CNRST, Institute dEconomie Rurale IER, University of Ouagadougou and Copenhagen University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Food science & nutrition | Year: 2015

The regional variability and age-age correlation on vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and minerals (Ca, Mg, P, K, Cu, Fe, Mn, Na, and Zn) concentration in baobab leaves were investigated. Baobab was cultivated from seeds from 11 countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Tanzania, Togo, Senegal, and Sudan. Vitamins B1 and B2 content were assessed using microbiological VitaFast kits methods and minerals by atomic absorption and flame spectrometry methods. Overall, the results showed a higher content of vitamin B2 compared to vitamin B1 with the highest vitamin B2 content (1.040.05mg/100g DM) from Senegal. The highest iron (Fe) content of 26.39mg/100g was found in baobab leaves from Mali. For age-age correlation, adult baobab leaves of Nankoun in Burkina Faso provided the highest calcium (Ca) content of 3373mg/100g. However, for provenance trial, young plants from three communities of Burkina Faso showed the highest calcium (Ca) and potassium (K) content. The study demonstrated that vitamins B1 and B2 and mineral contents in baobab leaves vary with the country and the age of the tree. Vitamin B1 content was higher in baobab leaves from ascendants compared to those from descendants, while in contrast vitamin B2 content was higher in the leaves from the descendants compared to their ascendants (mother tree).

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