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Home > Phase 1 > Phase 1 Volta > Enhancing rainwater use for crop productivity in the Volta Basin (PN05)

Full Project Title: Enhancing rainwater and nutrient use efficiency for improved crop productivity, farm income and rural livelihoods in the Volta Basin (PN05)


In the Volta River Basin, the food security of the population comprising mostly small-scale farmers who rely on rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods is threatened by low water availability, increasing soil degradation and poor soil fertility.

The erratic variability and distribution of rain over the growing season and the frequent periods of drought within the copping season adds to livelihood risks by causing significant crop damage.

The project aimed at integrating water use efficiency, soil and nutrient management, and improved germplasm in a systems approach to address the major constraints in agricultural and water productivity of rain-fed agriculture with a focus on marketing, policy and participatory approaches to empower poor farmers.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • The research evaluated and adapted best bet technologies that improved water and nutrient use efficiencies and increase crop productivity in partnership with farmers.
  • The research used the Decision Support System for Agricultural Technology Transfer (DSSAT) to analyze the effect of mineral fertilizer in sorghum cultivation in two management systems, and train project partners in its use.
  • The warrantage or inventory credit system tested with the farmers for warehousing of farm products allows farmers to benefit from micro-credits.
  • The findings highlighted that a) the technologies (varieties and fertilizers) are adapted to the agro-climatic conditions, which ensures good yields; the technical/field protocols do not constitute a constraint to the adoption of technologies; sharing of seeds at the community level constitutes a major driver for the increase in agricultural production and larger-scale dissemination.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • In Burkina Faso and Ghana, the project has been able to stimulate and strengthen farmer-based associations and community-based organizations to collaborate with researchers and other stakeholders. Strengthening the research-extension-farmer linkages provided a good foundation for enhancing the adoption of new and promising technologies.
  • Strategic alliances established between key stakeholders including NGOs, government staff, extension units, farmers’ organizations, private sector and other research organizations to promote ‘best bet’ crop, water, and nutrient management strategies for scaling up and out most promising technical, marketing and policy approaches.
Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN05 visit our document repository.

Selected publications and outputs

  1. Bationo A., Tabo, R., Waswa, B., Okeyo, J., Kihara, J., Fosu, M., and Kabore, S. Editors. 2008. Synthesis of soil, water and nutrient management research in the Volta Basin. Ecomedia Ltd. Nairobi, Kenya, 331 pp. ISBN 978-92-9059-220-04.
  2. Bationo A, Waswa B & Okeyo J 2007. Improving soil, nutrient and water use efficiency for Sustainable Management of African drylands Paper presented at 4th African Soil Science Society (ASSS) Conference, GIMPA Accra Ghana January 2007
  3. Bationo A, Waswa B, Kihara J, Kimetu J (eds) 2007. Advances in Integrated Soil Fertility Management in sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and Opportunities. Springer NL
  4. Boko, M., I. Niang, A. Nyong, C. Vogel, A. Githeko, M. Medany, B. Osman-Elasha, R. Tabo and P. Yanda, 2007: Africa. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J van der Linden and C.E. Hanson, Eds. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, 433-467.
  5. Dilys Sefakor Kpongor. 2007. PhD thesis: Spatially explicit Modeling of Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L) Moench) production on complex terrain of a semi-arid region in Ghana using APSIM.
  6. Tabo, R., Bationo, A., Diallo, Maimouna, K., Hassane, O. and Koala, S. 2005. Fertilisation par micro-dose pour la prosperite du petit paysan au Sahel: Rapport Final. B.P. 12404, Niamey, Niger: Institut International de Recherche sur les Cultures des Zones Tropicales Semi-Arides. 28 pp.
  7. Traore, P.C.S., Kouressy, M., Vaksmann, M., Tabo, R., Maikano, I., Traore, S.B., Cooper, P.J.M. 2007. Climate prediction and agriculture: what is different about sudano-sahelian West Africa? In Sivakumar, M.V.K. et al. (Eds.), Climate Prediction and Agriculture: Advances and Challenges, WMO. Springer-Verlag ISBN 978-3-540-44649-1, pp. 189-203
  8. Korodjouma Ouattara (2007) Improved Soil and Water Conservatory managements for Cotton-Maize Rotation System in the Western Cotton Area of Burkina Faso. Doctoral Thesis No 2007:54 – Faculty of Forest Sciences – Swedish Universiry of Agricultural Sciences- ISSN 1652-6880 ISBN 978-91-576-7353-4.
  9. Kabore, P. (2004) Mise en place d’un syste`me informatique de simulation de l’etat ecologique d’un milieu a` l’aide des SIG. Memoire de mai^trise, IBAM, Universite de Ouagadougou – 66p.
  10. Fosu M., W. Agyare, Saaka S. Buah, Roger AL Kanton: Assessing maize response to nitrogen fertilization in the northern savannah zone of Ghana using Mechanistic Computer simulation Model  (First draft). To be published in a Book or Soil Biology and Fertility Journal.
Final Report
Project Partners

Project partners


Project Lead

Project lead


For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.