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Mid-term project workshop – day 3

May 23, 2012

The morning session of the project was dedicated to four presentations providing updates on the research components in the project.

The research session was opened by Dr. Abe who presented his results on soil fertility and agronomy in Nigeria and Benin. Several pot experiments were conducted to assess the positive effect of silicon on crop production. Experimental results indicated that this essential element contributes to continued crop growth, also under water stress. Also different rice production systems in Nigeria were assessed. A large scale survey revealed that Sawah systems generated more income than traditional systems, though there was no significant difference in crop yield in comparison to the Togogi/kokuru system.

Dr Zwart presented the results of a new methodology that was developed together with Dr Linsoussi to map inland valleys on national scale using remote sensing images. The method has been applied and first validation results show that inland valleys are generally well mapped though model improvements must be made to map the first order inland valleys. “The next step will be to provide an estimate for the potential for development using biophysical and socio-economic data”, outlined Zwart.

Dr Kizito of the International Water Management Institute in Ghana presented the approach, methodology and models to assess the impact of Sawah System Development and rice intensification on the river catchment scale. Any intervention creates an impact on the water resources in terms of quality and quantity. Using hydrological model such as SWAT, scenarios regarding expansion of rice areas and the introduction of irrigation can be assessed. Such data will feed into the model WEAP, explained Kizito, which allows to analyse the impact of such changes on the water allocation between agriculture and the other water users in a catchment. Data availability will be a major issue for both Benin and Togo.

Finally, Dr Arouna, who joined AfricaRice only since 3 months, presented his work plans for the coming two and half years regarding socio-economic research. It will be essential to get a clear picture soon of the selected development sites in order to start baseline surveys. The adoption process will be analysed, possibly with data from Ghana and/or Nigeria where Sawah System Development was initiated in the 90’s. Finally, the market access for farmers will be investigated. This is expected to be an essential element in the adoption process of SSD.

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