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Effects of fertilization on sorghum and maize yield in cotton-cereals based farming systems – Soil

Context:

The partners in Burkina Faso are working to test various work packages within the EWA-BELT project, in particular trials on sorghum, an ancient cereal particularly cultivated in Africa due to its resistance even in soils with little water or in drought conditions.

The sorghum fertilization trials comprise five possible treatments: the first without the use of any fertilizer according to the farmers' current practices, while the other four involve different fertilization approaches discussed and agreed upon with the farmers.

The choice of these treatments was also based on their applicability by farmers, so all substrates used in the trials were either available on the market or produced locally by farmers.

The technology package focused on sorghum because of its importance in terms of its use as a cereal, constituting a primary resource for the family, food, marketing, straw and as fodder for draught animals during the dry season. A Farmer was interviewed by our partner: “I am Sankara Amad, I am from Houndé, but actually I am in Dohoun for farming activity where I carry out crop production and cattle breeding.We used to produce sorghum but not as we are doing it in the EWA BELT project. In our common practice land preparation system was different from the one of the EWA BELT project. We also produced without fertilizer either mineral or organic. With the EWA BELT project we are implementing new approaches on sorghum cropping. These approaches include the process of farm operations specially for fertilizer application either organic or mineral. Before harvesting, we can notice better development of sorghum stems in the plot. We are also happy with the approach used by EWA BELT because from beginning to now we have been involved in the different steps of the projects. Indeed, together we have selected technology packages and run overall activities from the seed selection until harvest. To come as preliminary results I can see that we shall have more straws for feeding our cattle”.

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