Interdisciplinary Research Group on Landscape Ecology and Environment (GRIEPE)

Improvement of an agroforestry system through solar powered irrigation

Innovation Type

Water-Food

Country of Incorporation

Côte d'Ivoire

Country(ies) of Implementation

Côte d'Ivoire

Product Segment

Water - Irrigation

Website Address

https://griepe.net/

Challenge

The agricultural sector in Côte d’Ivoire is experiencing several difficulties linked to climatic variability, which in recent years has revealed the great vulnerability of production systems in general and of agroforestry systems based on cocoa, coffee, cashew nuts and associated food crops in particular. This vulnerability is reflected in a significant drop in harvests and a deterioration in the living conditions of rural populations. Significant losses have been observed in the establishment or replanting of agricultural crops due to the absence, inadequacy, or irregularity of rainfall. In addition, several studies have reported that more than half of the classified forests and national parks have been infiltrated and transformed into agricultural areas. The university has set up a 4 hectare demonstration plot with perennial crops, trees and food crops in order to work on these problems, but it is facing several difficulties that hinder the smooth running of the project, such as animal roaming, theft, the use of the footbridge as a rubbish dump, and the dry season, which shows heavy heat losses.

Solution

Together with professors and researchers of the university Daloa, the research groupe GRIEPE initiated the joint project SAFIR. As the availability of water is a requirement to ensure the sustainability of agricultural production, SAFIR focuses on improving agroforestry systems in Côte d’Ivoire through a permanent water supply by determining the impact of the system on soil fertility, determining the water needs of the plants, installing a solar-powered irrigation system, evaluating the agronomic, economic, ecological and social performance of the irrigation system set up, and disseminating the results of the experiment.

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