ICARDA 2013

T9: Building resilience in agricultural systems: soil conservation and
fertility management
Case study 1: Ass...
Supporting the Small-Scale Traditional Rainfed Producers in
Sinnar State (SUSTAIN)
Project Rationale:
Responding to ↑ leve...
Thirty years ago..
2012…
Constraints
•low and erratic rainfall
• severe drought (1-3 years, 15-21 days in-season)
•lack of soil and water conservat...
Wide level disc (WLD)

• 1° tillage, designed for 2°
tillage (pulverization)
• shallow (3 – 5 cm), thus ↓
water conservati...
Poor water infiltration – leading to runoff/erosion

Compaction
Crusting
Promotion of minimum tillage – prior to 1 st rain - water
harvesting

Under minimum tillage:
– 133% increase in sorghum gr...
Assumed that creating furrows would collapse cracks and improve
water retention into the surface layer.
Following chisel ploughing

Following first rainfall
Crusting and Poor water Infiltration
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T9: Case study 1: Assessment of approaches for improving soil fertility - conservation agriculture in Sinnar State, Sudan.

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Case study 1: Assessment of approaches for improving soil fertility - conservation agriculture in Sinnar State, Sudan, ICARDA, Land and Water Days in Near East & North Africa, 15-18 December 2013, Amman, Jordan

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  • Main constraints to poor crop production
    low and erratic rainfall
    culminating into severe drought in some years
    Spanning 103 years
    With in-season dry periods (15-21 days)
    lack of soil and water conservation practices
    prevalence of traditional agricultural production
    minimum inputs with consequent reduction in soil fertility
    crop losses to pests and diseases, increased infestation of parasitic and noxious weeds
    lack of extension services (and technological gap)
  • Dominant tillage practice
    used for primary tillage, but designed for secondary tillage (pulverization)
    depth of cut is very shallow (3 – 5 cm) and thus not appropriate for water conservation.
    1st - dry disking is applied after few showers of rains and when (100 – 150 mm) is received and enough to seal the cracks; for incorporation of the left over from previous season crop residues and elimination of newly germinating weeds.
    2nd - green disking for seed broadcasting and also control of weeds when applied after 1 – 2 weeks from first operation, depending on the rainfall.
    speedy and at low cost, but
    tillage efficiency in weed control and soil tilling is extremely poor
    variable plant establishment
    recurrent use has caused:
    clay pan and hard compacted soil surface hindering water infiltration
    late planting - missing more than 30 – 40 % of annual rainfall
  • T9: Case study 1: Assessment of approaches for improving soil fertility - conservation agriculture in Sinnar State, Sudan.

    1. 1. ICARDA 2013 T9: Building resilience in agricultural systems: soil conservation and fertility management Case study 1: Assessment of approaches for improving soil fertility conservation agriculture in Sinnar State, Sudan. December 17th, 2013
    2. 2. Supporting the Small-Scale Traditional Rainfed Producers in Sinnar State (SUSTAIN) Project Rationale: Responding to ↑ levels of land degradation • Introduction of environmentally friendly and productivity enhancing technical packages Location: • 3 of 7 localities in Sinnar State • Dinder, Abu Hajar, & Dali/Mazmoum Project Beneficiaries: • 100 villages over 3 localities Target: • Smallholders (9 fed & ≤5 SR) • Settled pastoralists • Destitute women •
    3. 3. Thirty years ago..
    4. 4. 2012…
    5. 5. Constraints •low and erratic rainfall • severe drought (1-3 years, 15-21 days in-season) •lack of soil and water conservation practices •minimum inputs - ↓ soil fertility
    6. 6. Wide level disc (WLD) • 1° tillage, designed for 2° tillage (pulverization) • shallow (3 – 5 cm), thus ↓ water conservation. • 1st - dry disking (after 100 – 150 mm) - seal cracks; incorporate trash, weeds. • 2nd - green disking – seeding, 1 – 2 weeks later dependent on rainfall. Recurrent use has caused: • clay pan and compacted soil surface - ↓ water infiltration • late planting - missing more than 30 – 40 % of annual rainfall
    7. 7. Poor water infiltration – leading to runoff/erosion Compaction Crusting
    8. 8. Promotion of minimum tillage – prior to 1 st rain - water harvesting Under minimum tillage: – 133% increase in sorghum grain yield – 355mm rainfall average
    9. 9. Assumed that creating furrows would collapse cracks and improve water retention into the surface layer.
    10. 10. Following chisel ploughing Following first rainfall
    11. 11. Crusting and Poor water Infiltration
    12. 12. Thank you

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