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Tahoua, Niger

Ibrahim A.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics ICRISAT | Pasternak D.,International Adviser Drylands Agriculture | Guimbo I.D.,University of Tahoua | Saidou A.S.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics ICRISAT | Amadou M.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics ICRISAT
Journal of Horticultural Research | Year: 2015

A long-term study was conducted to explore the possibility of using traditional rain-fed systems for growing domesticated Ziziphus mauritiana (so-called Pomme du Sahel) in the Sahel. Five varieties, Gola, Ben Gurion, Seb, Umran and Kaithli, were grafted on six rootstocks of Z. mauritiana from various agroecological zones of Niger. Trees were planted inside microcatchments at 8 × 8 m spacing. Over a period of six years, the variety Umran gave the highest fruit yield (3600 kg·ha-1) and the lowest fruit yield was documented for variety Seb (1970 kg·ha-1). Individual fruit weight ranged from 25.8 g for 'Umran' to 9.5 g for 'Seb'. The rootstocks had no effect on average fruits yields and fruit size. There was a significant linear correlation between fruit yield and annual rainfall. In a rainy year (680 mm), the average yield of the five varieties was 7580 kg·ha-1. The results of the current study indicate that dry land plantations of Pomme du Sahel can guarantee food security during dry years in the Sahel. However, further studies are required to evaluate the economic feasibility of this system. © 2015 Ali Ibrahim et al.

Luxereau A.,CNRS Eco-anthropology and Ethnobiology | Genthon P.,Montpellier University | Karimou J.-M.A.,University Abdou Moumouni | Karimou J.-M.A.,University of Tahoua
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2012

Recent level changes in Lake Chad are associated with large area changes because the lakebed is almost flat. They have deeply impacted the lifestyle of local populations. The Mober are the main ethnic group living in the surroundings of Bosso, in eastern Niger near the Yobe River and in Lake Chad. They were initially herders and farmers who developed flood-retreat farming and sophisticated irrigation systems. But their main activity during high Lake levels was fishing: it provided food as well as substantial incomes, thanks to the export of smoked and dried fish. Since 1973, Lake Chad has shrunk, mainly because of the decrease in rainfall in its southern hydrological basin, on the border between Chad and the Republic of Central Africa. On the border between Niger and Nigeria, the Yobe River discharge was more stable but it provided a minor input to the Lake. Large areas with rich soils, termed here as polders by analogy with those of the Bol region in Chad, became available and allowed maize, cowpeas, sorghum and vegetables farming without irrigation or fertilizer. This system is governed by the "bulama," chiefs of the villages and of the land that is still abundant. However, without any return of the Lake on the polders, there is a serious risk of soil exhaustion. Sweet pepper farming has been developed on the sandy Yobe borders since 1960, partly thanks to the local farmers' ancient knowledge of irrigation techniques. It requires an investment of capital to buy fertilizers, pesticides, and gasoline for the motor pumps. This farming system may not only provide high incomes, but it also promotes inequality between men and women on the one hand and on the other hand, between poor farmers, who must borrow money and who have to sell their harvest immediately, and those who are able to store their products and wait for the best prices. The Mober of Bosso were able to adapt to rapid changes in the level of the Lake firstly without public intervention due to their long-lasting pluriactivity. However, their ability to cope with stronger changes induced either by climate or by large projects aiming at restoring high Lake Chad levels should be carefully monitored. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

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