Strengthening education on climate smart and saline agriculture
by training teachers to enhance food security in Casamance, Senegal
The Salt Doctors, MEYS Emerging markets research, Delphy (lead), L’Agence Nationale pour la Relance des Activités
économiques et sociales en Casamance (ANRAC), Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA), Institut National de Pédologie (INP) and L’Agence Nationale pour la Conseil Agricole et Rural (ANCAR).
This project was part of the Orange Knowledge Programme of The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (funder) and Nuffic (programme manager).
April 2021-March 2022
This project will have an effect on the following priority areas (mentioned in the Country Focus Document for Senegal):
-Food security: receiving training in the areas of Climate Smart Agriculture and Saline agriculture will help us ensuring food security (now and in the future). The area we are working in, the Casamance, is important for the food supply of Senegal.
-Climate & Environment: climate change is creating challenges for farmers in the Casamance area, as the rain season is becoming shorter, but also less constant. As a result salinization is becoming more of a problem. The topics of this training will help us deal with these changing climatic and environmental conditions.
-Employability of youth and Private sector development: In the training, teaching staff is being trained on new subjects and skills. That improves the employability of the students that are being trained by the staff part of this TMT. Entrepreneurship is part of the training. The participants of this TMT will help farmers and students to start up their own agri-businesses, which will increase the employment and development of the private sector in the area.
At this TMT project, we work on a location with highly seasonal salinity. There is a rainy season during which conditions are fresh and the main crop under cultivation is rice.
However, the river that runs through the area is as saline as the sea, due to deep inland seawater intrusion.
Because of this, when the rains end, the soils become increasingly salinized through the capillary rise of salts towards the rootzone.
Our aim during this project was to improve yields during the dry season, using common annual crops such as carrots and onions and apply different treatments such as mulching and compost applications.
During our field season, not much salinization occurred. However, we still obtained some positive effects of the use of mulch and compost on crop yields, especially in Okra.
We had a large, enthusiastic group of participants, an excellent field site available and we are pleased to have identified some points for improvement to boost yields! Currently, we are still collaborating on scientific publications with certain participants of the training.