Call edition 2012
A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.
The traditional African agricultural system based on the alternation of fallow and cultivation allowed for a restoration of the fertility of the soil. Socio-economic changes and population pressure, however, have led to a reduction of the fallow period, which has disrupted the environmental balance : the regeneration of the fertility of the soil is threatened, leading to a degradation of the soil, which results in lower yields. In this region of Sub-Sahara Africa, where agriculture is intensive, the fertility of the soils can be maintained by recycling the organic yield residues and by using nitrogen fixative plants in rotation schemes, combined with a reduced use of inorganic fertilizers depending on the financial possibilities of the local peasants.
The author studied the yields of 24 maize fields in 2 villages in the south of Benin where 6 different treatments were tried out. She analysed the impact of the fertilizers, of the farming practices - especially the combination of maize and oil palm - and of the soil characteristics on the maize yields.
This study fits into the framework of the sectoral priorities of development co-operation : sustainable development and food security.