The Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA) is the main institute for agricultural and environmental research in Burkina Faso. It is in charge of formulating, implementing, and coordinating the country’s environmental and agricultural research. INERA is an institute of the National Center of Scientific and Technological Research (CNRST), which in turn is the administration of the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation. INERA has more than 380 researchers in the fields of agronomy, soil science, agro-climatology, agro-economics, agroforestry, forestry, cattle breeding, fisheries, anthropology, biochemistry, ecology, plant breeding, pathology, entomology, physiology, sociology, food nutrition. INERA's organization relies on scientific departments and the National Centre of Expertise for Fruit and Vegetables for research activities It comprises 18 research programs grouped into four scientific Departments: i) Natural Resources Management and Production System (GRN-SP), ii) Vegetal Production, iii) cattle breeding and iv) Forestery and environment. The activities of the EWA-BELT project will be conducted by INERA's Vegetal Production Department, which has solid experience in scientific cooperation and management of similar research projects.
Who We Are
The Department of Vegetal Production of INERA contains 5 thematic research programs whose activities deal with food crops for family consumption and cotton as the main cash crop. The research topics aim to promote cereals (rice, maize, sorghum, millet, fonio) and legumes (cowpea, soybeans, peanuts) for food security in the country. This department has strong expertise with 35 researchers (agronomy, plant breeding, pathology, entomology) to address plants and yield protection and soil fertility management issues in cotton and cereals-based production systems predominant in the EWA- BELT project area in Burkina Faso.
Our Own Experience
As well as at regional and international levels, many research projects have been carried out by the research team of INERA to promote food security and improve the productivity of small farmers. From 2015 to 2019, our research team had the opportunity to implement the project Revenue Cotton Livelihood Trade and Equity (RECOLTE) for supporting organic cotton production practices and soil management in the organic cotton base farming systems our activities were conducted in the field at the farmer´s´ level and in cotton seed production farms. The technologies developed included the promotion of crop rotations in organic agriculture and increasing women's incomes. During the same period, soil health-specific issues have been addressed by the USDA project “Cotton-4 Partnership” to improve the productivity and profitability of the cotton sector in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mali. This project also contributes to food security, strengthening the C- 4 countries' research institutes and developing the regional partnership meeting the same goal as the EWA-BELT project. The last experience with the “project C4+TOGO” the Brazilian government, helped to transfer cotton management approaches to the C4 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, and Togo. The main goal of this project is to enhance the development of the cotton industry by providing approaches for sustainable cotton farming that can increase supply chain profitability and resilience through approaches such as better crop management. Our research team has 12 young researchers with solid expertise and an interdisciplinary approach to addressing issues of soil fertility degradation and improving the crops’ productivity (cotton, cereals, and legumes) meeting the main objectives of the EWA-BELT project.
I am a senior researcher in agronomy and soil science and the head of the Cotton Research Program in Burkina Faso. With more than 20 years of experience in cotton fertilization and soil fertility management practices, my research focuses mainly on building suitable fertilization options for cotton and cereals crops widely grown in rotations. Since 2015, I had the opportunity to participate regularly in the annual meetings of the PR-PICA (Regional Programme for Integrated Production of Cotton in Africa held in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Togo, and Senegal.
This has enabled the West African sub-region to strengthen scientific and interdisciplinary collaboration between the National Research Institutes to address the issues of crop productivity and soil fertility in the cotton base farming systems of these countries. I also coordinated the project “Cotton 4-Partnership (2014-2018) and the project with Brazilian cooperation C4-Togo (2015-2019), which brought together the scientific experiments of researchers in the face of common problems. In the EWA-BELT project, I’m the coordinator of the INERA team, involved mainly in WP 2 and WP3. I will particularly work in WP2 for soil fertility management and also contribute to boosting the WP3 for innovative plant protection and crop storage practices.
I’m a soil scientist in the INERA research team with more than 10 years of experience in collaborative research in the field of sustainable soil fertility management, with colleagues from national institutes in west African cotton-growing countries. From 2015 to 2017, I was a team member of the C4-Cotton Partnership project and, our investigation focused on the determination of nutrient balance in N, P, and K in conventional and organic farms cotton farming systems.
My research areas are extended to other aspects of soil management such as conservation tillage approaches, sustainable fertility management in cotton, and cereal-based systems integrating legumes (cowpea, soybean, and peanuts). In the EWA BELT project, I’m particularly involved in WP2. The implementation of innovations to be tested in Farmers' Fields Research Units (FFRUs) will be my responsibility. The NutMon model will be used in farms for data collection and assessment of the partial balances of major nutrients (N, P, and K). Results of nutrient flow within farmers will be considered to make recommendations for smart and sustainable soil fertility management. In WP2, soil tillage associated with crop residue management (WP2 Task 2.2.) will be tested to improve soil fertility. Moreover, cereals and leguminous improvement by using organic manure and intercropping (WP2 Task 2.3) will be also tested in agreement with farmers. I will be involved in data collection and analysis to advise recommendations for sustainable production.
In the EWA-BELT project, I’m involved in the assessment of essential oils in the storage of food crops, cereals, and legumes (WP3 Task 3.4). I will contribute to collecting baseline data on the constraints of food crop conservation in the field and during storage. I will carry out laboratory tests for the selection of the most suitable essential oil extracts (extraction of essential oils, identification, and characterization of the active compounds contained in different extracts of the plants tested, determination of lethal doses and concentrations LD 50, LC 50, LC 90, DL 90 of essential oils on leguminous insects).
I also planned to expand activities in the protection of Neglected and Underutilized crop species (NUS) crops (fonio, voandzou) in collaboration with other project partners (ACRA, KDC). This will boost the impact of the EWA-BELT project, particularly dissemination activities in WP6.
I am a senior entomologist researcher working on Insect Pest Management (IPM) practices in cotton cultivation at INERA since 1994. I am involved in developing biopesticides extracted from local plants to control pests in organic cultivation. I am working on biological control of the cotton bug Dysdercus voëlkeri by using its natural enemy Phonoctonus lutescens. I have contributed to finding local Trichogramma species to control main Lepidopteran pests in cotton cultivation in West Africa.
In the EWA-BELT project, I am particularly involved in WP3, dealing with botanical pesticide program finding and biological control of D. voëlkeri by using its natural enemy P. lutescens. My interest in botanical pesticides will be in finding vegetal species that will have the best activities on the main pests in cotton cultivation. As far as biological control is concerned, the main activities will focus on P. lutescens bioecology, its rearing, and the best conditions for its release in cotton farms.
I’m an agro-economist in the INERA research team. Since 2012, my research has been focused on the technical performance of cotton farmers and the analysis of cotton profitability in Burkina Faso. I’m also interested in the impact of cotton on food security, farmers’ resilience under climate change conditions, soil fertility management practices, and pesticide management effects on the environment in cotton-growing areas. In a multidisciplinary research team, for over 7 years, I had the opportunity in various projects to be involved in the transfer of technologies as well as the dissemination of results.
In the EWA-BELT project, I’m involved in the WP2 and WP3 addressed by the INERA team. I will participate in baseline data collection, mainly socio-demographic data, inventories of soil management practices, identification of constraints, and traditional knowledge of farmers. Collected data will be capitalized for the selection and finalization of innovations to be tested in the farmer's fields research units (FFRUs). During the project, I’ll also evaluate the performance and profitability of technical options tested with farmers: i)soil fertility management by minimum tillage and organic resources (WP2 task 2.2.2), ii) cereals and legumes productivity improvement by using intercropping and organic manure (WP 2 task 2.2.3), iii) pesticidal plants extracts efficacy and biological control of insects (WP3 Task 3.3) and iv) biopesticides oil efficacy in the control of insects in stored cereals and leguminous food products (WP3 Task 3.4).