Intensification scenarios in south-western Niger: Implications for revisiting fertilizer policy

Rovere, R.L. and van, H.K. and Hiernaux, P. and Szonyi, J. and Schipper, R.A. (2008) Intensification scenarios in south-western Niger: Implications for revisiting fertilizer policy. Food Policy, 33 (2). pp. 156-164.

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In semi-arid south-western Niger, external fertilizer inputs are a complement of livestock-mediated nutrient transfers for maintaining soil fertility. This paper discusses scenarios of intensification for different farm household types in an area representative of the wetter parts of semi-arid Sahel. Twenty-five-year projections suggest that soil fertility may not always or irreversibly deteriorate under intensification, and that nitrogen is the main external input required. Owning animals allows some households to achieve food security and maintain soil fertility by capturing and mobilizing soil nutrients. Intensification will bring various benefits to livelihoods, but these will be unevenly distributed. The results of this paper should caution scientists and policy-makers against the often heard warning of inevitable losses in soil fertility in the Sahel associated with intensive technologies, and against extrapolating conclusions attained at specific locations or social groups. Endogenous coping strategies based on using local inputs can also be effective and should be explored in addition to a continued attention for the need for more targeted uses of external inputs

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intensification; Sahel; Niger; Soil fertility; Fertilizer policy; Crop-livestock
Author Affiliation: International Centre for Wheat and Maize Improvement (CIMMYT), Apdo. Postal 6-641, 06600 Mexico, D.F., Mexico
Subjects: Animal Husbandary > Live Stock
Animal Husbandary > Veterinary Sciences
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2011 05:23
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2011 05:23
Official URL:

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