More than 200 million people living in dryland regions of Sub-Saharan Africa make their living from agriculture. Most are exposed to weather shocks, especially drought, that can decimate their incomes, destroy their assets, and plunge them into a poverty trap from which it is difficult to emerge. Their lack of resilience in the face of these shocks can be attributed in large part to the poor performance of agriculture on which their livelihood depends. Opportunities exist to improve the fortunes of farming households in the drylands.
Dryland regions in Sub-Saharan Africa are home to one-half of the region’s population and three-quarters of its poor. Poor both in natural resources and in assets and income, the inhabitants of drylands are highly vulnerable to droughts and other shocks. Despite a long history of interventions by governments, development agencies, and civil society organizations, there have been no sustained large-scale successes toward improving the resilience of drylands dwellers.
Prospects for Livestock-Based Livelihoods in Africa’s Drylands examines the challenges and opportunities facing the livestock sector and the people who depend on livestock in the dryland regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Hanfets is a popular mixture of wheat and barley grown in the highlands of Eritrea and Tigray (Northern Ethiopia). In this study, we tested 16 experimental hanfets constituting all possible combinations of four barley landraces and four wheat (two landraces and two varieties) at three locations in Eritrea for 3 years during which farmers (both men and women) made selections of suitable hanfets. Across locations and years, the grain yield of hanfets on average was similar to that of the pure barley but significantly higher than that of wheat.
Spate irrigation, a floodwater harvesting and management system, has for the past 70 centuries provided a livelihood for about 13 million resource-poor people in some 20 countries. Despite being the oldest, the system still remains the least studied and the least understood. It is only in the past two decades that the system has been subject to some modernization interventions, much of which focused on improving floodwater diversion efficiency.
The paper analyzes land use changes, notably cropland expansion, in SE-Niger from the mid-1980s to 2011. It scrutinizes land use trajectories and investigates how cultivation shifts between dune landscapes and valleys (bas-fonds) in response to climate, population pressure, and sociocultural opportunities, combining lenses rooted in land change science and the notions of double exposure and human-environmental timelines. Specifically, the interest is directed towards exploring the value of different methods of land use data harvesting.
The Sahel has been the focus of scientific interest in environmental-human dynamics and interactions. The objective of the present study is to contribute to the recent debate on the re-greening of Sahel. The paper examines the dynamics of barren land in the Sahel of Burkina Faso through analysis of remotely-sensed and rainfall data from 1975–2011. Discussions with farmers and land management staff have helped to understand the anthropogenic efforts toward soil restoration to enable the subsistence farming agriculture.
Climatic stress and anthropogenic disturbances have caused significant environmental changes in the Sahel. In this context, the importance of soil is often underrepresented. Thus, we analyze and discuss the interdependency of soil and vegetation by classifying soil types and its woody cover for a region in the Senegalese Ferlo. Clustering of 28 soil parameters led to four soil types which correspond with local Wolof denotations: Dek, Bowel, Dior and Bardial.
Crown diameter and tree density were measured in 52 communities in the Sudan-Sahel using satellite imagery to determine the relationships between rainfall and distance from community center to crown size diameter and tree density. As distance from the community center increased, tree density and crown diameter decreased. As rainfall increased, tree density decreased while crown diameter increased. Distance from the community center is a proxy for age since urbanization and our results indicate that older parts of communities show longer and more consistent tree management.