In this video, one of our partners in the EWA BELT project in Wakuy explains why the agro-livestock integration approach is so important in Burkina Faso. This aspect is so central because it enables the intensification of agricultural activities in Burkina Faso through the use of animals for tillage and transport, the use of manure to amend cultivated land, the use of crop residues for animal feed and other aspects.

These animals fed with the usual fodder are weak to allow the seedbed to be prepared in time during the rainy season and produce little manure to be used as fertilizer for land preparation.

“The approach of agri-livestock integration we are experimenting with the EWA BELT project is that animals are fed with crop residues and cotton oil cake as a supplement during the dry season when forage is not sufficient. The trial consisted in splitting the animal in two groups for two months and the first group would have received crop residues plus supplement of cotton oil cake and the second group was conducted as usual”.

At this stage of the project, Dramane Traore, an engineering student at the NAZI Boni University in Burkina Faso, presents us with the results of the tests carried out by the technology packages provided by the EWA BELT project, in particular with regard to the management of the agro-livestock integration approach.

The trials were in fact conducted on draught animals through targeted changes in their usual diet, to assess their yield and strength and to cope with tillage problems due to the animals' weakness at the beginning of the rainy season due to the shortage of forage from March to June.

Therefore, two groups of animals were formed and fed in two different ways: the first was fed with crop residues supplemented with a dietary supplement of cotton oil cake; the second was fed as usual with free fodder.

The aim was to obtain strong draught animals at the beginning of the rainy season for tillage and consequently also more manure for soil improvement.

As a result, the animals in the group fed with crop residues plus the dietary supplement of cotton oil cake were well prepared for agricultural operations compared to those in the other groups fed according to the free feeding method.

The experiment also made more manure available for crop soil amendment from the group of animals fed with crop residues plus dietary supplement.

As a final result, the experiment achieved seedbed preparation by tillage with strong draught animals in due time and improved soil fertility through the manure produced by stabilized, well-fed draught animals.

Also in this video, Alfred Toboua, a farmer from Wakuy who is now a partner in the EWA BELT project, describes the improvements achieved by joining the project, in this case regarding the improved yield of livestock in tillage through a more efficient use of storage crop residues.

Animals fed with crop residues cut into small pieces were more powerful for tillage operations than those fed as was commonly done with uncut crop residues.

Again, the project approach proved to be particularly engaging and versatile to replicate so that the technology package can be disseminated and passed on to other farmers.

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