Skip to Content

Conservation Farming Defies Drought in Senegal

Agricultural producers in Senegal are finding that small improvements in their farming techniques can yield big benefits when it comes to protecting their livelihoods against risk during growing season.

Conservation farming, which has been promoted in Senegal by USAID since 2009, is based on the premise of “doing more with less”: farmers till and plant only a portion of their land each season, growing crops in small, evenly-spaced basins rather than plowing entire fields. Not only does most of the land remain undisturbed, but this technique reduces soil erosion and run-off during rainfall, helping the land to retain both water and nutrients.

Despite serious drought conditions during last year’s agricultural season, Senegalese cultivators who used conservation farming techniques increased their yields, helping to ensure the food security of their communities while also earning higher profits. 

Through conservation farming, village farmers have seen yields superior to those obtained using traditional methods,” says Falilou Faye, Regional Director of Rural Development in the community of Kaolack, where the technique is being applied. “Despite the low rainfall, yields have actually risen dramatically in places.”

Read more about conservation agriculture in Senegal.

Related Stories