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Cahiers Agricultures

Intensification of rice-growing in the lowlands in the district of Sine-Saloum (Senegal) Volume 17, issue 5, Septembre-Octobre 2008


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Centre national de recherche agronomique (CNRA), 20 BP 938, Abidjan 20 Côte d’Ivoire, Association pour le développement de la riziculture en Afrique de l’Ouest–SAHEL (ADRAO-SAHEL), BP 96, Saint-Louis Sénégal

Rice is a staple in West Africa and as such is cropped in every position along the watershed. Upland soils are not only fragile, but they are also submitted to ever growing population pressure. The lowlands, with an estimated hectare ranging from 20 to 50 million, shows a better rice production potential than the uplands, with an average yield of 5 to 6t/ha as compared to the 2 to 3t/ha average yield of the uplands. The Sine-Saloum region is located in the north-west of Senegal and includes many lowlands in contact with the sea. These lowlands are confronted by a problem of salinity that leads to deterioration of the cultivated soils. There follow regressive tendencies that affect other activities, such as fishing and hunting. To fight against this phenomenon, anti-salt structures, commonly called “dams” are constructed. The dams eliminate not only the causes of salinity, but also stock water for soil leaching and constitute soft water reserves above the salt water level. In addition to such works, WARDA (West Africa Rice Development Association), in collaboration with other structures and populations of the villages of Djilor and Ndour Ndour, initiated studies to sustain the resumption of rice culture activities. The tests implemented on farmers’ parcels have, among other aims, to test the performance of some varieties created in the SAHEL station and to determine the doses of fertilizer which should be used in rainy lowland rice-growing conditions. The results obtained make it possible to say that: i) in spite of the type of treatment, the new variety tested (V1) behaves well with reference to the variety SAHEL 108; ii) the treatment related to farmers’ practices gave the best yield with both varieties. With the minimal dose of mineral fertilizer, the new variety has 1.8 t/ha as yield while SAHEL 108, the reference, has a yield slightly superior to 1 t/ha; iii) the half dose of fertilizer seems sufficient to compensate the deficiencies in nutriments; iv) with the advisable dose, we note an additional consumption of manure; v) the organic manure allows the two varieties to achieve much better performance in the conditions of Ndour Ndour than in those of Djilor. The farmers who took an active part in all phases of these tests in their parcels appreciated the collaboration between the different partners whose desire is to contribute to self-sufficiency of rice in the region of Sine-Saloum.