Drought and grazing intensities affect state changes in Savannas

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Savannas are dynamic environments that are characterized by fluctuations in grass and woody plant biomass as a result of variable rainfall. Herbivores are often insufficient to regulate accumulation of grasses during wet periods, leading to periodic fire regimes that maintain savanna rangelands in open, grassy states. Changes from a grassy to woody state come about […]

Germplasm Transfers of Agroforestry Trees for Climate Change Adaptation

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Prosopis africana  is very important for farming and pastoralist communities in the West African Sahel. The species extends from the relatively humid Sudanian and Guinean ecozones in the south to the drier Sahelian ecozone in the north, but it is disappearing in many regions due to overexploitation and the increasingly hotter and drier climate in the region. In the semi-arid West […]

Minor millets provide food security during drought

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The long history of minor millet cultivation and its spread to different regions of the world that are notable for extremely harsh farming conditions generated considerable genetic variability in these crops. Eight minor millet crops grown in different regions of Africa, Asia and Eurasia are finger millet (Eleusine coracana), proso millet (Panicum miliaceum), little millet […]

Camels assist with water transport and draught in drought stricken southern Ethiopia

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Following three years of insufficient rainfall in southern Ethiopia, the large scale die off of many livestock exacerbated local famine. Action for Development purchased 120 camels for hauling water, who liberated women from energy consuming water transport, and assist in ploughing the land when there is sufficient rainfall for planting.  Camels can bring enough water […]

The Role of Soil Microbes in Drought Recovery

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The contribution of soil microbial diversity to agricultural resilience is often overlooked, mostly because it is understudied in most regions of the world. However, plant-growth-promoting microbes (PGPM) such as rhizobia, actinomycetes, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM) and trichoderma are increasingly recognized for their roles in improving plant growth through the mobilization of scarce nutrients, hormonal action, and […]

Promoting Livestock through Natural Resource Management in the Sahel

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In rain-limited regions of Burkina Faso, improved water harvesting and soil erosion control using contour stone bunding is shown to increase grain yields by 41% in low rainfall regions of Burkina Faso. Yield increases in food crops help foodbuying farm households import substitute in food consumption, reduce livestock production, and increase seasonal migration which is […]

Cattle Fattening in Mixed Production Systems Improves Incomes in the Philippines

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This paper highlights the objectives, methodology and results of a series of on-farm experiments on crop-animal systems in the rainfed lowland environment. Starting with simple component technology research on rice and upland crops, the cropping pattern at the on-farm site changed from a dominant rice – fallow to a rice – mungbean pattern. Subsequent trials […]

Cover Crops in Hillside Agriculture: Farmer Innovation with Mucuna

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Cover crops have received considerable attention as a approach in increasing productivity and sustainability in agricultural systems in the developing world. The velvetbean (Mucuna pruriens) is particularly important amongst cover crops because it is widely planted, reasonably tolerant to a number of stresses, prolific in its leaf litter, and even used as a minor crop, despite […]

Aquaculture for African Smallholders

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In drought prone Malawi, integrated fishponds on farms had the effect of improving household incomes by an average of 600%. Ponds could yield up to 1500 kg/ha/yr of tilapia. Fish polycultures can significantly improve pond productivity when fish with complimentary diets are cultured together.    

Wheat genetic diversity decreases production risk on degraded lands

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Ethiopia is a centre of diversity for durum wheat, and farmers manage a high range of varieties in their plots. In the Tigray region, which is susceptible to drought, variable precipitation and land degradation, varietal richness in wheat fields is demonstrated to increase farm productivity, and reduce yield variability, especially for very high levels of […]