DCG's up-dated collection of best-practices, Agro-Sahel, aims to present the best approaches and practices for improving agriculture in Sahelian countries.

Jens B. Aune | October 2011

Agro-Sahel is prepared in order to inspire all actors working in the agricultural development sector in the Sahel. The technologies presented in Agro-Sahel are scientifically documented and are already being adopted by farmers.

It is important to underscore that the choice of technologies and interventions to be used varies depending on rainfall, soil quality, input availability, cost of inputs, integration into the market, access to credit and farmers' ability to adopt new farming techniques and approaches. Agro-Sahel also aims to present the broader picture of what is needed for improving agriculture in the Sahelian countries, looking at what is needed for farmers to “climb the ladder of intensification” and reduce risks.

The best practices presented in Agro-Sahel are mainly developed for areas where rainfall ranges between 400 and 800 mm. This corresponds to the Sudano-Sahelian zone (400-600 mm) and the Sahelo-Sudanian area (600 - 800 mm) (Hiernaux and Houerou 2006) where rainfed farming is practiced. The techniques presented can be useful in adaption to climate change as they represent low–cost methods for increasing productivity under marginal conditions.   

There are many opportunities to improve agriculture in the Sahel. The choice of different technologies and approaches depends on socio-economic conditions and household conditions. There is no technology that fits everywhere. Farmers, who do not have the necessary financial means, cannot take big risks and are not in a position to make heavy investments. The role of development agencies is to facilitate farmers' work, and to identify and remove bottlenecks associated with access to innovations, inputs, infrastructures, institutions or incentives. There is a great potential for agricultural development in the Sahel. It is important to identify and seize the opportunities when they arise

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