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FARMER WITNESS FROM BURKINA FASO - SOIL TILLAGE

Context:


Three are the partners of the EWA-BELT Project that are implementing different work packages in Burkina Faso: INERA, The university of Nazi boni (UNB) and ACRA; In the context of Soil Fertility management UNB and INERA are evaluating the effects of minimum tillage and recycling crops residus through compost on soil nutrients budget and crop productivity in cotton-cereals base cropping systems: the objective was to promote soil stability and organic matter content through tillage and organic fertilization practices. On these practices some farmers were interviewed:


Toboua Jonas

“I am Toboua Jonas, farmer from the village of Wakuy, the EWABELT Project is conducting farmer field research on soil tillage combined with fertilizer application method with me. Currently I am very happy with what we are testing because the problem addressed by the trials are on-line with our concerns. In addition to fertilizer inaccessibility, we do not have enough labour for farm operations, and the trials we have set in my field help to reduce the labor demand and optimized fertilizer used. Look at the plant development stages for now, I cannot see big difference between the tillage systems. That is good for us because with zero-tillage, we save time and financial means. Thus, with the erratic rainfall, we can use the direct seeding system, zero tillage to prevent crop fails due to rain shortage. Farther, our resources ca be used for other purpose or field activities. We are waiting for harvest in order to compare yields in the three systems and the rentability of each treatment as well.”


Interview given by one of the researcher of the project to describe the ongoing effects of three tillage systems on crop yield:


“Here is one of our farmer, the research units where we are testing the effects of three tillage systems on crops yield and soil fertility management, currently there is a decrease in soil fertility in cotton based farming systems, and farmers are experiencing serious problems in meeting the issue. In addition, with regards to the ability to fertilize, farmers are also facing a lack of labor, add to the coming into time especially for seed bed preparation. Therefore, they lose essential part of yields for seeding late. To address the issues of soil fertility management, while saving time for farming operations. Our technology package includes three tillage systems: conventional, reduced and no tillage. There are three levels of fertilizers applications as outlined above. The selection of substrates combined to tillage systems to be tested was done according to the soil economy, social, economic conditions of farmers, in terms of availability of substrates and the labor. The preliminary results show almost the same plants development trends in the three main plots: normal reduced, and zero tillage plots.”


SUMMARY:

Farmers and different leading figures in the project, in these given interviews, describe the positive impacts and the benefits of the new farming methods introduced by EWA-BELT. A general satisfaction is expressed and a widespread interest in continuing to utilize the zero-tillage method with a combination of the use of organic fertilizer and other techniques to prevent crop fails because of erratic rainfall.


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