Farmers improved yields with traditional soil-building practices that restore and fertilize damaged soils

| September 26, 2016

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In Burkina Faso, desertification, or progressive drying of the land, has grown worse over the last four decades because of drought. Water and wind erosion and the impact of human activities such as farming have significantly degraded soils. Scarce and irregular rainfall, as well as climate change, have complicated farmers’ lives and farming activities.

But farmers in the Central Plateau of Burkina Faso are having success tackling this situation with traditional techniques such as zai, demi-lunes, and stone lines. Indeed, much land that was damaged is not suitable for farming, and farmers’ yields have improved.

In this script, we meet with local farmers and an agricultural expert who share their experiences in restoring degraded land.

If you choose to use this script as inspiration for creating your own programs, you could talk to farmers and other experts, and ask the following questions:

  • If there are damaged lands in your area, how were the lands and soils damaged?
  • What solutions have farmers found for reviving these soils?
  • What are the challenges or barriers to adopting these solutions? Have farmers found solutions to these challenges or barriers?