In the Sahel
• The Sahel is a fragile semi-arid ecosystem with long-standing concerns about desertification,
• Rural agricultural landscapes are under threat from increasing rural population and intensive cropping and over grazing by livestock.
• Degraded soils and landscapes are decreasing crop productivity and increasing vulnerability to global climate change
• Drought and water stressed crops are constant and major challenges
• Farmers are risk averse with few biological options in the semi-arid environment
• Farmers destructively burn woody shrub debris.
• Native woody shrubs (Guiera senegalensis and Piliostigma reticulatum) coexist in farmers’ fields, but agronomic benefits are unrecognized
• Implement shrub density optimized systems in farmers fields.
• Adopt non-thermal shrub residue management to provide organic inputs and nutrients to soils using a local resource.
• Increased yields
• C sequestration
• Improved soil quality
• Crop drought stress reduction
• Promotion of beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi for improved crop growth and health
• Shrubs perform hydraulic of water from wet subsoil to dry surface soils to assist crops
• Shrubs increase groundwater recharge during rainy season
• These beneficial effects have been scientifically validated in 24+ refereed journal articles.
Richard Dick presenting "Intercropped Woody Species in the Sahel to Resist Drought" at InterDrought-V Conference in Hyderabad, India February 2017.