Soil Fertility Management for Sustainable Agricultural Production in Semi-Arid West Africa

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"The development and intensification of agricultural production are vital for economic growth and the alleviation of property in semi-arid West Africa (SAWA). Poor soil fertility and low use of organic and inorganic fertilizers are tow of the most important constraints to increased agricultural productivity in the region. Intensive cropping without replenishment of soil nutrients has progressively depleted the nutrient base of most soils leading to reduced soil fertility, damaged soil structure, reduced water infiltration, and increased soil erosion by water and wind. Soil fertility in the farming systems of SAWA can only be maintained through efficient recycling of organic materials such as crop residues and animal manure in combination with mineral fertilizers and suitable crop rotations. In particular, livestock need to improve agricultural productivity, but also to minimize the competition that arises between independent crop and livestock production activities. This paper identifies and reviews a number of options that can be used to raise agricultural productivity and reduce resource degradation in SAWA." (Bationo or editors)


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Soil fertility, Agricultural production, Economic growth, Farm/Enterprise Scale