Adoptability of sustainable intensification technologies in dryland smallholder farming systems of West Africa

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Within the framework of CGIAR Research Program (CRP) 1.1: Dryland Systems, the compilation of a review of options, constraints and potential for agricultural intensification at a number of specific sites in West African dryland areas has been requested, using an integrated systems approach. CRP 1.1 aims to develop technology, policy and institutional innovations to improve livelihoods, for the poor and highly vulnerable populations of the dry areas (ICARDA 2011). In the introduction to Strategic Research Theme 3 of the project, it is stated that sustainable intensification aims at increasing input use to increase output, based on agroecological principles of sustainability. The program focuses on dryland systems in West Africa identified by two criteria: (i) those with the deepest endemic poverty and most vulnerable people and (ii) those with the greatest potential to impact on food security and poverty in the short and medium term. These areas have been sampled and 10 research locations have been selected and characterized. The first output of the Strategic Research Theme 3 is defined as: Sustainable intensification options designed and developed. A range of potential options for sustainable intensification has been described previously, and multiple reviews of successful and less successful innovations for and by smallholders in Africa have been published in scientific and grey literature (Dudal, 2001; Haggblade, 2004; Aune and Bationo, 2008; FAO, 2008; Reij and Smaling, 2008; Tenywa and Bekunda, 2009; Bayala et al., 2011 Pretty et al., 2011). This report provides an overview of the current technologies, and describes four of them in detail. The potential of the technologies for increasing productivity is assessed, and an attempt is made to perform an ex ante analysis of their fit, or in other words their ‘adoptability’, within four research sites. Through this exercise, we explored the way forward, to go from ‘best bet’ to ‘best fit’ options for sustainable intensification in West African drylands.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages87
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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