The video presents the achievements of our partners in Burkina Faso in the context of the EWA-BELT project. It explains the results achieved in one of the fields used as a research unit in testing the effects of a three-tillage system on crop yield and soil fertility management.
The problems encountered by farmers in Burkina Faso are mainly related to the cultivation of cotton as a result of a decrease in fertility in the fields that host this crop, difficult access to fertilizers, and a lack of labor that causes crop losses. To address these issues, the technology package developed within the Ewa-Belt project comprises three tillage systems and three levels of fertilizer application (for both conventional, reduced and no-till). The selection of substrates combined with the tillage systems to be tested was made according to the socio-economic conditions of farmers in terms of substrate and labor availability. Preliminary results show almost the same plant development trends in the three main plots: conventional, reduced and no-till.
These practices have been testing in Wakuy, a town where cotton cultivation is the backbone of the household economy and it is one of the experimental centres of the EWA BELT project in Burkina Faso. The results are not particularly positive: despite the efforts made to source fertilizers, there is a constant decrease in soil fertility and a consequent decrease in the yield of cotton crops.
Also unresolved is the issue of labor shortages, which greatly affect crop yields: given the irregularity of the climate linked to the rainy season, early sowing is a safe investment for good yields.
Three tillage practices, including normal tillage, reduced tillage and zero tillage, are tested in the trial to address this problem as well.