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Wageningen Universiteit (1999)

Spatial variability and farmer resource allocation in millet production in Niger

Gandah, M.

Titre : Spatial variability and farmer resource allocation in millet production in Niger

Auteur : Gandah, M. 

Université de soutenance : Wageningen Universiteit

Grade : PhD thesis 1999

Présentation
The Sahel of West Africa is the agro-ecological zone located between 12 oand 16 oN, with an annual rainfall of between 300 and 1000 mm. Crops are grown in a subsistence type of agriculture during the 75 to 125 days growing period between May and September. Major crops are millet, sorghum, cowpea, and groundnut, sown usually in mixed-cropping. Crop production suffers from frequent droughts and poor soil fertility, which cause low yields and repeated food shortages. Traditional farming, in the western part of Niger, relies on the use of livestock to combat soil nutrient deficiencies, and other risk minimizing strategies, to produce an average 350 kg ha -1year-1of millet grain. This is the context within which this research was conducted in four localities in western Niger in 1995, 1996, and 1997.
The overall aim was to investigate soil and crop variability at various scales and the rightness of traditional land management in millet cropping subject to extremely variable weather conditions. The main objectives were : 1.to test and refine the hill scoring technique for characterizing within field soil and crop yield variability in 3 localities of western Niger 2.to identify soil properties explaining yield variability in space and time 3.to evaluate the effects on millet yield of site specific management of manure and fallow in a Fulani farmer’s field 4.to compare management systems used by farmers in four different landscape positions 5.to describe farmers methods of land evaluation and management options, based on farmers’ expert knowledge of the environment

Mots clés : pearl millet / pennisetum glaucum / soil variability / resource allocation / soil management / methodology / niger

Résumé

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