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52 Profiles on Agroecology: Dual purpose sorghum and cowpea intercropping in Mali










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    52 Profiles on Agroecology: Impact of agroecological techniques on soil fertility and productivity of sorghum and pearl millet in Burkina Faso 2017
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    Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in the Sahel whose economy is highly dominated by agriculture and livestock husbandry, with more than 70% of the population living in rural areas. The prevailing farming system is smallholder agriculture based on cereal production, especially sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) which form the staple diet for the population. The two crops occupy almost 2.9 million hectares of land, however, production is constantly ch allenged by climate hazards, inefficient farming practices, and declining soil fertility. To address these concerns, several agroecological techniques have been developed and promoted among farmers by the project “Farmer led agro-ecological intensification in Burkina Faso”. The project is financed by the Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) of the McKnight Foundation.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Importance of sorghum in the Mali economy: the role of prices in economic growth, agricultural productivity and food security 2018
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    Mali has generated relatively high levels of agricultural growth over the past few decades. While most attention has focused success in cotton, since the early 1990s, staple food production has increased by an annual rate of 2.4 percent, roughly keeping pace with population growth. Most of the production, however, has been through area expansion, which increased at a faster annual pace, 2.0 percent, than the 0.5 percent increase in yields. Studies have found agricultural growth more effective in generating economic growth and reducing poverty than investments elsewhere, including the industrial sector. Mali shares many of the conditions favorable to successful agriculture led growth, including agriculture’s substantial contribution to GDP, a large smallholder population, and poverty concentrated in rural areas. This report investigated the role that sorghum production has played in economic development and poverty reduction in Mali, with a principal focus on how sorghum and similar commodity prices, as proxies to agricultural income, affect economic growth. Findings suggest that while sorghum and other staple food crops contribute to modest rates of economic growth, the lack of commercial marketing opportunities and “cheap food” pricing policy limit agriculture’s growth potential. The artificially low prices paid to Mali’s sorghum producers suppress farm income and constrain the long–term buildup of investment capital needed to adopt more modern and productive technology and management practices. Moreover, the low pricing has aggravated household’s ability to make any meaningful movement out of poverty. Policy needs to move away from pricing mechanisms that artificially maintain low food prices and increase crop research investments in staple food crops so that the large population of rural Malian household engaged in their production become engines of economic growth and bootstrap themselves from poverty.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Food loss and waste in grains value chains
    Causes and recommended solutions
    2017
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    A joint RBA project has studied and identified the main causes and solutions for food loss and waste reduction along sorghum, beans, maize, cowpea and rice value chains in Burkina Faso, DRC and Uganda. This infographics illustrates along these value chains some of the main critical loss points and relevant proposed solutions for food loss reduction.

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