Ecological situation

Located at the western tip of Africa, between latitudes 12° and 16°30 north and longitude 11°30 and 17°30 west, Senegal has an area of 196 722 km2. Mainly it is a country consisting of plains and plateaus (altitude below 50 m on ¾ of the territory). The variety of conditions and crop and diversity of its geological substratum is that Senegal offers several types of fertile soils, often fragile and susceptible to wind and water erosion.

On the climate level, Senegal, in addition to the differences noted between the coastal and the inland regions because of its coastline of 700 km, is placed under the influence of maritime trade winds, the Harmattan and the monsoon. These air masses will determine two different seasons (the dry season and rainy season).

On the eco-geographical, the criteria that take into account a range of biophysical and socioeconomic factors have brought together spaces more or less homogeneous in integrated management perspective. Thus the country is divided into 6 zones: (i) the Senegal River Valley, (ii) Niayes (iii) the peanut basin, (iv) the sylvopastoral area (v) the center and South East, and (vi) Casamance. This division is also split into sub eco-geographical areas (see attached map 6).

Socio-economic Status
The economic and financial performance recorded in recent years are still insufficient to significantly reduce poverty to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), including reducing the incidence of poverty by half by the year 2015. Indeed, with the current rhythm of growth of the economy, it will take 30 years to double the PIB per head, which remains one of lowest in the world (U.S. $ 635 in 2003).

This poverty is more localized in rural areas and varies between 72 and 88% of the population. And it is in these areas that the phenomenon of land degradation has become very widespread.

Poverty, a mainly rural reality
Land degradation is causing decline of incomes for rural people. Indeed, the combined effect of symptoms of land degradation (drought, salinity, acidification, erosion, declining yields …) has helped to establish a situation of food shortage and famine in the countryside. Faced with such difficulties increasing, rural populations have developed survival strategies, which for the most part, resulting in intense pressure on natural resources (land clearing unfit for cultivation or low fertility without the use of fertilizers, overgrazing with its negative effects on natural resources). Moreover, the acceleration of soil depletion and loss of vegetation cover (the main source of animal feed) will further reduce yields, so farmers' incomes and destroy the ecological balance. This is the vicious circle degradation - poverty - degradation.

National Strategy
The preparatory work for the Tenth Plan for Economic and Social Development (PESD) for the period of 2002-2007 served as a framework for identifying 8 strategic fit to accelerate growth and reduce poverty in a context of good governance and including those regarding management of natural resources and environment are:

  • Follow up of the rational management of natural resources and environment,

  • Support efforts to intensify and diversify production to secure incomes of the rural world.

On the whole strategy that based on growth and poverty reduction is now as a framework for all policies and interventions of the State and its technical and financial partners.

Strategy Document for Poverty Reduction (SDPR)
In the SDPR II, the environmental sector is considered as an important long-term growth. Thus, the priorities are as follows: (i) the recovery of forest resources (the rational sustainable diversification of fuels, reduction of losses for consumption), (ii) safeguard the environment and the fight against desertification (Iii) safeguarding of fauna and flora (iv) safeguarding the marine and coastal environment, (v) value of wild resources, (vi) the improvement of urban and rural life (vii) capacity building in management of natural resources and environment (MNRE) (viii) increasing the access of poor to alternative energy, (ix) community management of protected areas; (x) Optimization of government intervention, according to the Code of Environment.

Sectoral policy and legislation
The state has confirmed its willingness to consider environmental issues as priorities by the development of various sectoral and thematic of which are specifically designed for the environment and the fight against poverty:

  • The Expenditure Framework sectoral in Medium Term (EFS-MT);

  • The National Action Plan for the Environment (NAPE);

  • The National Action Plan for the Fight against Desertification (NAP/FAD);

  • Strategies for the implementation of conventions on biodiversity and climate change;

  • National Plan Management for dangerous waste;

  • The Forest Action Plan of Senegal (FAPS);

  • Action Plan for the Protection and Conservation of Water.

Conclusions of the report on the Research program/Development On the study of physical and chemical properties of soil and vegetation

The study led to a baseline of the two plots of Thiékène Ndiaye on the physical and chemical properties of soil and the diversity of vegetation. But in the absence of a baseline earlier, we cannot verify obviously if there is an evolution of these parameters following the soil work with Vallerani system.

However, when we compare the results of the treated land to those of the witness plot, we find that:

  • The plot has a finer texture and a slightly higher fertility, but the humidity is higher in the treated plot.

  • The treated plot has a most diverse plant community; the number of regenerated seedlings and the density are also higher

  • Biomass of the herbaceous epigeal treated plot is significantly greater than the plot with a difference of 625.5 kg DM ha-1;

The plot treated therefore differs markedly from the plot because of its diversity and biomass production plant epigeal higher, then it is less fertile than the latter, the item is promoting the water is also the main limiting factor in this semi-arid area.

The trends of this study show that the work of soil with the Vallerani system increases the water-holding capacity of soil by increasing its macro porosity; it facilitates the movement of water and air. The works created by the plow Delphino to collect as much water after a rain thus limit the runoff primary cause of erosion: These conditions have contributed to the development of vegetation in the treated plot. This increase in vegetation presages an improvement in organic content of soil in the years to come.

Meanwhile another study, we can retain that current trends show positive effects of the work of soil with the Vallerani system on some physical and chemical properties of soil and vegetation. Furthermore this technology contributes significantly to the intensification of reforestations.

The beneficiary populations and technical support council concerned appreciate well the technology. Although its benefits are proven, the technology remains largely unknown to the rural population and support services consultancy. Its cost relatively high would be the main limitation when its adoption as a management technique of water conservation, of biomass and soil fertility.

Although the results are significant, the research was, however, faces a number of objective limits which are:
The absence of a randomized trial: treatments have not been repeated, this is because this research was not foreseen when planning the plot, so therefore adopted the device is limited a treated plot and another serving as a witness because of this analysis was based on tests of equality of averages.

There is no permanent evaluation and monitoring biodiversity of the site (permanent plots), yet less than initial reference situation (before the restore operation of the site).

The books are not arranged according to the contour lines, because we found that they are all oriented in the east-west, in parallel and not taking into account the topography, which reduces their effectiveness.

It was planned three operations of levies and soil analysis, in dry season, middle and the end of the rainy season. Due to budgetary constraints, this number is reduced to one conducted in April and the results presented in this study.

It emerged a few recommendations:
The work of soil with this system should be implemented following the contour lines. A prior operation lifting of these curves level is needed. This works, does not facilitate the cultivation of peasants who make culture coupled with the straight lines seeding in Agroforestry plots. But it is the effectiveness of works, which must be located on these curves level;
An organic amendment is needed to increase soil fertility, which is very low in organic matter. This included organic matter will improve both the physical qualities (links between soil particles lightweight aggregates more stable) chemical (mineralization continuous humus) and biological (food micro-organisms) of soil.
In plantations, it will carry out regular weeding operations to reduce competition from grass. Opening a firewall device around the plot is also necessary to reduce the risk of wildfire.
The establishment of a permanent evaluation and participatory monitoring of biodiversity (permanent plots) in all project sites is recommended; In terms of research and development, we propose:

  • A similar study 3 years later to see the changing effects of technology on the dynamics of resources;

  • A comparative study of Vallerani system with other preparation techniques as forestland under the cross Soiling, "large Poteet" and " simple Poteet " on the different soil types encountered in the project sites. This study will not only test the technical and economic of Vallerani technology but also to determine for each type of soil the technique of preparing the soil more efficiently.

On the evaluation of socio-economic impacts
The assessment of socio-economic restoration highlights the potential of agro soil worked with the Vallérani technology ", with as a corollary to improve population incomes. Plows allow the manufacture of anti-erosion works of a large water storage capacity, which promote and maintain the biological processes; through improved crop conditions, preserving rural ecosystems for better improved coverage plant that could be even stronger in the next few years. Indeed, the plot worked with the Vallérani technology "have a potential plant importantly, a good wiper, because of the paths that may still remain outstanding after two years.

However, the evolution of books and their storage capacity in water are variable. Those who are exposed to intensive grazing decline faster over time.

In addition, restoration of degraded land solely for Agroforestry is a form of amputation of grazing land that plans should not hide. Otherwise it might exacerbate conflicts between farmers and herders. The beneficiaries of the project have seen returns of their production increase. The improvement of grain balance sheet and income working households in the project has a positive impact on improving their standard of living and their situation will be even more comfortable with the sale of gum when the acacia will reach their stage of production. Therefore the project has contributed so indirect welfare socio-economic households. However respond to socio-economic realities, the use of these tools can only take place with technical support and financial field. Apart from these performances related to technology constraints have been identified. These include reducing grazing areas, the need to close the plots worked with plows to prevent incursions of livestock, outdated farm equipment on site and found high rates of emigration recorded in villages Thiékéne of Ndiaye and Soringho. 

On the agronomic  
At first, it seems important to work to increase yields. In this perspective should be: Facilitate the acquisition of inputs at lower cost, by state subsidy. According to PIERI (1989), the increase of yield is linked to a high absorption of nutrients, without it the work of soil is increasing its loss, so that the yields for long-term decline. But experience has shown that a project cannot be responsible for the provision of inputs. It may not be able to recover the debts contracted by farmers, who took the bad habit of considering as a gift that emanates from a project. Therefore better support the establishment of a self-sustainable, managed by private traders and farmers.

Make available to farmers the quality seeds by measures.
Conduct extensive research on the treatment plant with local means, given the high costs of pesticides, and fight against pests, termites and grain-eating birds that are increasingly a threat to crops in those areas.

Increase the areas worked with plows, to reduce the large untapped. 

On the technical
Fencing the plots. The absence of closure is a major problem to solve. Indeed, it is responsible for the low adoption rate in some localities on the one hand and contributes to avoid conflicts between farmers and herders in those other localities.

Ensure renewal of farm equipment. The sub-farm equipment is an obstacle to the use of vast areas of unexploited a share. And the competition between the cultivation, which must increasingly follow within a deadline reduced because of the variability of rainfall on the other. Cultivate the plots to meet the demand of farmers who claimed unanimously. 

On the socio-economic
Open a line of credit if possible, to facilitate access to inputs and renewal of farm equipment for potential adopters of the project, through specialized financial institutions. This would facilitate greater adoption of the Vallérani system. Establish drilling for the lack of water raging in some localities and at the same time, diversify the production activities.

On the social
Establish pastoral amendments to fight conflicts between farmers and herders. Informing farmers of the benefits of developed plots on livestock, with the fruits of Acacia senegal from the pasture that can be cut and kept for use in livestock.

Ms. Condeye Sylla Gaye
NGARA Focal Point
Direction des Eaux et Forêts,
BP 1831, Dakar Hann , 
Tel: (221) 8320565 
Fax : (221) 832 27 89
Mobile: 2216528020

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