Improving yam productivity in West Africa
The productivity of yam, a staple food in West Africa, can be significantly increased by soil fertility management. Farmers receive support from researchers to adopt techniques for improving the soil fertility of their agricultural land.
Yam, a tuber like potato, is a staple food of about sixty million people in West Africa. Traditionally yams are grown without input as the first crop after long-term fallow or natural vegetation in slash and burn systems. However, tuber productivity of traditional cropping systems is much lower than the yield potential. Most yams farmers have a yield that does not exceed 10 tonnes per hectar while the potential is estimated at more than 50 tonnes per hectar. One of the reasons explaining this low productivity a is the high level of soil fertility required by these plants and its rapid decrease when the plot is cropped with yams. Researchers provide farmers with efficient and sustainable soil fertility management techniques and also study the adoption of these practices. Watch the video on YouTube.
This video-clip was produced in reply to a Call for Three-minute pitches by the r4d programme. PhD students working in r4d projects could attend an e-course on storytelling and be coached by a communication expert. Esther Oka is working on her PhD thesis in agroeconomy.
Esther Oka, firstname.lastname@example.org, Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
r4d project Biophysical, institutional and economic drivers of sustainable soil use in yam systems for improved food security in West Africa, http://yamsys.org/
A film by Esther Oka