Farmers triple sorghum yield thanks to mulch farming

| December 18, 2017

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Like this week’s Farmer stories from Mali and Ethiopia, our Script of the week is about sorghum.

In the Sahel, farmland has been degrading for decades. That degradation has many causes, including the disappearance of vegetation cover, soil erosion caused by runoff water, and violent winds. These factors contribute to making the land infertile and reducing farm production.

Half of Burkina Faso is located in the arid Sahel, where there is less than 650 millimetres of rain per year. Since the 1970s, pockets of drought have been common. On average, rainfall is insufficient in one out of four years.

In order to survive, farmers are continuously innovating with ways to restore the soil and make it more fertile.

In this script, you will discover an innovation called “woody mulch farming.” A farmer has created an ingenious method of using a local plant. Thanks to this method, local farmers are significantly increasing their yields.

This script is based on interviews with farmers in central Burkina Faso.

If you use this script as research material or inspiration for creating your own programming on growing crops in arid conditions, talk to farmers and experts who are dealing with these challenges. You might ask them:

What difficulties do you experience with farming in this area?
Have you found solutions to these challenges?
Have you tried mulching or other methods of retaining soil moisture? If so, what was the result?
What do extension officers and other experts say about these challenges?