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Technologies
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Using organic fertilizers on small-scale irrigation plots [Mali]

Apport de fumure organique dans les parcelles de petite irrigation (French)

technologies_1228 - Mali

Completeness: 76%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Dako Jean Parfait

National Directorate of Agriculture

Mali

Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) - Germany
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
United Nations Development Program (United Nations Development Program) - Tajikistan

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?

01/07/2012

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Ja

1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?

Geen

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Organic fertiliser enhances the productivity of the soil, as well as its capacity for infiltration and water retention.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology

Description:

Smallholding farmland lends itself to market gardening and rice and maize growing. Applying five tonnes of organic fertiliser per hectare for cereal growing and 20 tonnes per hectare for vegetable growing significantly improves soil fertility in small-scale irrigation schemes. The most commonly used organic fertilisers are: compost; straw pen manure with litter or household waste.

Purpose of the Technology: The objective of using organic fertiliser is to enhance productivity by improving the structure and fertility of the soil, as well as its capacity for infiltration and water retention. It stimulates biological activity in the soil and increases yields and production. Increasing the level of organic matter in the soil (humus) enhances its capacity to store nutrients (cation-exchange capacity) and water.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: Farming advisors provide producers with training on techniques for preparing and applying the different types of organic fertiliser.
Composting: The actions required are: digging the composting pit; filling the pit; looking after the pit; applying the compost to the land.
The composting pit: the collection and stockpiling of straw pen manure; the application of the manure to the land.
Household waste: The collection and stockpiling of household waste; the application of the household waste to the land.
Farming advisors monitor how growers produce and apply organic fertiliser. Growers dig the composting and slurry pits, transport organic matter to fill the pits, and manage the upkeep and oversight of the pits.
The frequency of organic fertiliser application varies from once a year to every three years and depends on its quality and quantity.
This activity requires basic equipment (cart, wheelbarrow) to transport the organic matter.

Natural / human environment: This practice is being popularised throughout the areas in and around irrigation schemes throughout Mali.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment

Country:

Mali

Region/ State/ Province:

Mali

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

Ongoing for around 10 years

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • access to fertilizer

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Cropland

Cropland

  • Annual cropping
Main crops (cash and food crops):

major food crop: Rice

Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

  • Agro-pastoralism
Comments:

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): soil fertility decline, low capacity for infiltration and water retention

3.3 Further information about land use

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • mixed rainfed-irrigated
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1
Specify:

Longest growing period in days: 120; Longest growing period from month to month: August-November

Livestock density (if relevant):

1-10 LU /km2

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • integrated soil fertility management

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Comments:

The practice is being popularised throughout the areas in and around irrigation schemes.

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A2: Organic matter/ soil fertility
Comments:

Type of agronomic measures: manure / compost / residues

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bq: quantity/ biomass decline
water degradation

water degradation

  • Ha: aridification
Comments:

Main causes of degradation: crop management (annual, perennial, tree/shrub), droughts, population pressure

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation
  • restore/ rehabilitate severely degraded land

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate
Technical knowledge required for land users: low

Main technical functions: improvement of ground cover, improvement of surface structure (crusting, sealing), improvement of topsoil structure (compaction), increase in organic matter, increase in nutrient availability (supply, recycling,…), increase of biomass (quantity), promotion of vegetation species and varieties (quality, eg palatable fodder)

Secondary technical functions: control of raindrop splash, increase of infiltration, increase / maintain water stored in soil

4.6 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Type of measure Timing/ frequency
1. looking after the pit Agronomic
2. The collection and stockpiling of straw pen manure or household waste Agronomic
3. applying the compost/household waste to the land Agronomic

4.7 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Comments:

Machinery/ tools: basic equipment (cart, wheelbarrow) to transport the organic matter

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Production costs are low given that the local materials involved are available freely or at very low cost. This activity requires basic equipment (cart, wheelbarrow) to transport the organic
matter.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Agro-climatic zone
  • semi-arid

Thermal climate class: tropics

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
Landforms:
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
  • fine/ heavy (clay)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)
  • low (<1%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil fertility is medium
Soil drainage / infiltration is poor - medium
Soil water storage capacity is medium

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:

medium

Water quality (untreated):

for agricultural use only (irrigation)

Comments and further specifications on water quality and quantity:

Availability of surface water: medium, poor/ none

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
  • average
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
Gender:
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Population density: < 10 persons/km2
Annual population growth: 2% - 3%
10% of the land users are rich.
50% of the land users are average wealthy.
30% of the land users are poor.
10% of the land users are poor.

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • small-scale

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Comments:

The irrigated land is allocated by the chief

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

health:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
education:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
markets:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
energy:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts

Production

crop production

decreased
increased

risk of production failure

increased
decreased

production area

decreased
increased
Water availability and quality

demand for irrigation water

increased
decreased
Income and costs

expenses on agricultural inputs

increased
decreased

farm income

decreased
increased

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency

reduced
improved

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

reduced
improved

livelihood and human well-being

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

Applying five tonnes of organic fertiliser per hectare for cereal growing and 20 tonnes per hectare for vegetable growing significantly improves soil fertility in small-scale irrigation schemes

Ecological impacts

Soil

soil moisture

decreased
increased

soil cover

reduced
improved

soil loss

increased
decreased

soil crusting/ sealing

increased
reduced

soil compaction

increased
reduced

nutrient cycling/ recharge

decreased
increased

soil organic matter/ below ground C

decreased
increased
Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

biomass/ above ground C

decreased
increased
Climate and disaster risk reduction

drought impacts

increased
decreased
Other ecological impacts

capacity to store nutrients and water

decreased
increased

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

downstream flooding

increased
reduced

downstream siltation

increased
decreased

wind transported sediments

increased
reduced

damage on neighbours' fields

increased
reduced

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season Type of climatic change/ extreme How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm not well
local windstorm not well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood not well

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

very positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Maintains soil fertility and improves its structure
Stimulates biological activity in the soil and increases yields and production
Increasing the level of organic matter in the soil (humus) enhances its capacity to store nutrients (cation-exchange capacity) and water
Organic fertiliser is less expensive than chemical fertilizer. Production costs are low given that the local materials involved are available freely or at very
low cost.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Lack of equipment for collecting organic matter and water shortages in the dry season
Particularly in semi-arid areas, not enough biomass is available to systematically provide the quantities required to cover all the land being farmed. Compost is therefore often reserved for cash crops.
This activity requires basic equipment (cart, wheelbarrow) to transport the organic matter.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Manual of Good Practices in Small Scale Irrigation in the Sahel. Experiences from Mali. Published by GIZ in 2014.

Available from where? Costs?

http://star-www.giz.de/starweb/giz/pub/servlet.starweb

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Technical fact sheets on organic fertiliser (DNA)

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