Citation
Background information for the Semi-Arid Tropics Program review, Niamey, Niger

Material Information

Title:
Background information for the Semi-Arid Tropics Program review, Niamey, Niger
Creator:
Texas A&M University, Soil and Crop Sciences Department
Affiliation:
Texas A&M University -- Soil and Crop Sciences Department
Place of Publication:
College Station, Tex.
Publisher:
Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Farming ( LCSH )
Agriculture ( LCSH )
Farm life ( LCSH )
Africa ( LCSH )
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Niger -- Niamey
Africa

Notes

Funding:
Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.

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Full Text
Background Information
for the
Semi-Arid Tropics Program Review
Niamey, Niger
Prepared by
Texas A&M University
July, 1986
TROPSOILS




INDEX
Page
PREFACE .................................................... 1
PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Original objectives and current focus ................. 3
The setting ........................................... 3
PROGRAM EVOLUTION AND CURRENT ORGANIZATION
Program evolution ..................................... .6
The planning phase ............................... 6
The implementation phase ......................... 6
The operational phase ............................ 7
Activities at secondary sites .................... 8
Recent developments .............................. 10
Current organization .................................. 12
RESEARCH PROGRAM
The original approach and its evolution ............... 15
Research areas and project interlinkages .............. 17
Soil water and fertility management ............... 17
Base line data studies ........................... 21
Integrative studies: land evaluation ............. 24
Project statements
A .2 . . . . . . . . .. . .. .. . . . . . . . .. . . 28
A .4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 9
A .5 . . . . . . . . .. . .. .. .. . . . . . . .. . . 3 1
A .6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2
A .8 .............................................. 34
A .1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 8
B .1 . .. . .. . .. . .. . . . ... . .. . . . . .. . . 39
B .2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 1
B .3 ... .......... .............. ...... ... ......... 42
B .4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 4
B .5 . .. .. . . . .. . .. .. .. . . .. . .. . .. .. . 4 6
B .7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 8
B .9 ...... ..... .. ..... ......... ... .. .. ............ 50
B .1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 1
B .13 ............................................. 54
C .1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 6




THE BUDGET
Summary of total expenditures up to date.................60
Balance for FY4........................................... 60
Report for FY5.......................................... 63
Budget for FY6.......................................... 66
Budgets by project...................................... 68
FUTURE DIRECTIONS
Historical perspective...................79
The goal of the SM-CRSP in semi arid Africa..............80
APPENDIX...................................................... 83.




PREFACE
This report has been prepared as a working tool for the External Evaluation Panel which will be reviewing the TROPSOILS-SAT research program in Niger in July, 1986. Its main objective is to collect and summarize into a single document, basic material needed to provide a concise reference for use in the evaluation of on-going and completed research and for the general operation of the program.
The report includes five chapters: "Program Overview', "Program Evolution and Current Organization", "Research Program", "The Budget" and "Future Directions". An appendix is included listing all staff and collaborators. General background information about Niger, the main TROPSOILS-SAT research site, is also attached.
The first two chapters covering "Program Overview" and "Program Evolution and Current Organization" describe the setting and summarize the history of the SAT program from its planning stages up through current status. Emphasis is given to the description of the difficulties faced-during the start-up phase of the program in Africa, the evolution of institutional linkages, and current constraints.
The chapter titled "Research Program" attempts to fully describe TROPSOILS-SAT's research activities on-campus and overseas. After a short description of the Program's goal and its evolution through five years of planning and operation, general areas of research are identified, and the linkages with specific research projects are outlined. Single "Project Statements" are presented for each research project, according to guidelines provided by the Management Entity. They have been edited with the information provided by each Project Leader. As you will note, several research activities, which have been described as single projects in previous reports, have been consolidated into more comprehensive, multiple-objective projects. This will facilitate reporting, reviewing and budgeting. You will also notice'that achievements and relevance of research being conducted at Lubbock is described in greater detail since this site will not be visited by the EEP.
The chapter titled "The Budget" briefly covers the fiscal status of the program, with a summary of expenditures from its origin up to date. Fiscal years 4 and 5 are treated more in detail: a significant difference between expenditures and budget occurred during FY4; as a consequence, significant modifications to the budget were dictated for the current fiscal year (FY5). Individual budgets for on-going or proposed research projects are attached.




The chapter titled "Future Directions" presents a summary of future research direction of the SAT program as envisioned by the P.C. and our team of scientists.
This report has been prepared and edited by Ruben Puentes, our Program Manager.
E. C. A. Runge, Head. Soil & Crop Sc. Dept.
2




Program Overy i ew




1. PROGRAM OVERVIEW
1.1 Original objective and current focus.
TROPSOILS' goal is to develop and adapt' soil management technology that will reduce constraints to plant growth and to ensure that this technology is agronomically, economically, and ecologically sound for developing countries in the tropics. Within this framework, several research components were originally identified and considered in all agro-ecological zones. They were very general in nature. They included: 1. Improving the land resource data base, 2. Field research to develop and
evaluate long-term effects of soil and water management practices, 3. Soil fertility evaluation, 4. Development
of technical soil classification systems, and 5. Improved delivery systems including data banks and a documentation center.
For the semi-arid tropic (SAT) program, the original mandate was also very broad in scope. Specific research components included: 1. Development of low-input systems that maximize the use of available soil water, 2. Erosion control, prevention, and reclamation, 3. Practices to prevent or reduce detrimental effects of surface capping, 4. Management of soils with low activity clays to prevent secondary acidity, and 5. Supplemental irrigation, when appropriate. After three years of field research, the scope of the TROPSOILS SAT program has been significantly narrowed due to a better understanding of what should be its function within the network of national and international research organizations in Africa and the current budgetary constraints. This will be discussed
later in this report. The current focus mainly encompasses applied research on soil-waer--fertility intera n in brder to develop, adapt and evaluate soil management practices to increase food production for the semi-arid tropics on a sustained basis. The rationale for the evolution of the research objectives will be discussed in depth in other chapters of this report. (2.1, Program
Evolution and 3., Research Program).
1.2 The setting.
Several alternatives were originally considered for the establishment of research sites for the SAT program. They included Bambey (Senegal), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Niamey (Niger), Samaru (Nigeria), Southern Sudan, Morogoro (Tanzania), Lusaka (Zambia), Northeastern Brazil, Maha Illupalamia (Sri Lanka) and India. West Africa, and particularly the Sahel, was selected as the priority zone and the final choice was reduced to Burkina Faso and Niger. Finally, Niger became the primary research site, with secondary activities in Mali and Northern Cameroon. Representative agro-ecological conditions and
3




political stability were important elements considered.
A. The Primary Research Site :Niger
Most of the TROPSOIIJS research in Niger lies within the Sahel bioclimatic zone: an extensive semi-arid belt immediately south of the Sahara Desert. The population density of this part of Niger is about 20 to 25 persons per square kilometer and more than 90% of these people are involved in subsistence agriculture. The primary food crop is pearl millet (F~nne~m --*p.) which
is often intercropped with cowpeas. Other crops include peanuts, sorghum, maize, rice, and manioc. Pastoral grazing of sheep, goat, and cattle are another major agricultural enterprise. The growing of crops is almost entirely done by hand labor. The sandy soils are easily tilled and animal or mechanical traction for agriculture is rare.
The climate is characterized by a June to September rainy season and a dry season throughout the remainder of the year. Rainfall is irregular and normally comes in the form of convective storms. As much as 100 mm of rain may fall during a single rainfall event. There are periods of strong, dry "harmattan" winds which bear dust from the Sahara during the dry season. Potential evapotranspiration is approximately 2000 mm annually while annual rainfall is only 300 to 600 mm with drastic variability from year to year. Temperature is warm year round and averages 29 C in Niamey, the capital of Niger.
Forests in the Sahel are diminishing due to human, and/or grazing pressures. Current vegetation is grasses and thorny bushes with scattered trees. In many areas barren crusted soils are left where vegetative cover has receded, increasing runoff and elevating soil and air temperatures. The landscape is composed of laterite-capped plateaus and ancient sand-filled valleys. There are many problems associated with the soils on these landscapes. Large areas of soil are high in sand And have low soil water storage. Crops grown in these areas are subject to sandblasting and burial during early stages of growth. Soils with higher clay content form crusts immediately after rains so that 80% or more of subsequent rainfall is lost to runoff. The crusting also causes problems in crop establishment.
Chemically, the soils are also deficient for most crop production systems. They are acid, low in available phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, and organic matter. They are often high in free iron oxides and exchangeable aluminum. Considerable microvariablility exists, causing difficulty in interpretation of cropping systems research results.
4




The climate is harsh and rainfal is erratic and has decreased 30-40 % during the p t decade. Air temperatures commonly exceed 0 Q nd soil temperatures at 5 cm depth often exceed 50 C. With no inputs, yields of local crop varieties exceed those of introduced varieties. Local varieties have been selected by farmers over time
that can produce under the local soil conditions and harsh climate of the area.
B. Secondary Research Sites:
1. Mali: The primary location of research in Mali is at the Cinzana research station located about 100 miles northeast of Bamako on the Niger River, just past Segou. Mean annual rainfall is around 550 mm per year and the landscape is vegetated by a savanna woodland. The station is characterized by low relief with a toposequence of several distinctly different soils. Soils at the lowest point of the landscape are poorly drained and fine-textured with some shrink-swell properties. Soils on the crests are excessively-drained, coarse textured, and yellowish-red in color. These latter soils are quite similar to the sand-plain soils in Niger.
2. Cameroon: Northern Cameroon has extensive areas of Vertisols which are clayey soils that express
considerable shrinking and swelling upon drying and wetting. Such soils are rare in Niger but otherwise extensive in the semi-arid tropics. The Maroua region where TROPSOILS research has been initiated has annual rainfall of around 800 mm which decreases northerly to less than 500 mm on the southern shore of Lake Chad. Mean annual temperature is approximately 28 C. The parent material of the lowland soils (many of which are Vertisols) is primarily lacustrine sediments deposited when the shore of Lake Chad occurred much further to the south than it does today. Sorghum, millet, peanuts, and cotton are the major crops grown in the region.
3. Supporting domestic research: Supporting
domestic research is also conducted at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, near Lubbock and at the main campus of TAMU at College Station.
In summary, with research being conducted in zones with total annual rainfall from 800 to 300 mm, with soils varying from sandy Alfisols to Vertisols, the
TROPSOILS SAT program is covering most of the variation in agroecological conditions of the semiarid tropics in Africa.
5




Program Evolut ion and
Current Organization




2. PROGRAM EVOLUTION AND CURRENT ORGANIZATION
2.1 Program evolution
A. Planning Phase:
The Planning Entity originally developed a
program which included: 1. a soil physicist; 2. a soil fertility specialist, and 3. a ground cover agronomist. Each of these three positions were to work equally between the countries involved (originally, these countries were Niger and Burkina Faso). Finally each position was to
operate under the ICRISAT umbrella with ICRISAT to serve as the primary collaborating institution. The arrangement was supported and agreed to by the USAID missions in Niamey and Ouagadougou in 1980.
B. The Implementation Phase:
Two years elapsed from the time that the
Planning Entity proposed the arrangements outlined above and the arrival of Texas A&M/ME representatives in West Africa to initiate discussions on implementation of the program. Much had changed in the interim.
Changes in key USAID/Niamey personnel and the resignation of the ICRISAT West Africa coordinator made it necessary to revise original plans. The initial response from USAID/Ouagadougou was negative toward re-initiation of discussions. Subsequent discussions with ICRISAT, USAID/Niamey and AID/Washington authorities discouraged us from using the original plan to work under the ICRISAT
umbrella. USAID/Niamey argued strongly that we should work directly with INRAN (the National Agronomic Research Institution). It was finally decided among all parties involved that it would be best if TROPSOILS operated under the AID bilateral agreement with the Government of Niger; however, TROPSOILS would, at our insistence, develop
separate memorandums of agreement with ICRISAT and INRAN. By early 1982 we had finally arrived at a focus on soil-water research within the farming systems context at he i (ICRISAT Sahelian Center). The memorandum- of
agreement with ICRISAT was signed in early 1983. Discussions with INRAN focused on similar research needs, that of soil and water. The memorandum of agreement with INRAN was also signed in early 1983.
The TROPSOILS commitment to both INRAN and
ICRISAT for 1983 was to place a senior soil physicist in Niger who would develop a research program shared equally between both institutions. It was further understood that discussions would continue during 1983 to determine the type of position to be filled next.
6




C. The Operational Phase:
We knew that the TROPSOILS Program in Niger
would be too small during its early phase to justify major in-country administrative and logistical support. Thus we arranged a working relationship with Purdue University to provide this support. Purdue is the prime contractor for the Niger Cereals Research Project with INRAN. After one year operating this way, a TROPSOILS office was established at Niamey.
The TROPSOILS soil physicist (Dr. Robert G. Chase) arrived in Niger in early March, 1983. Dr. Chase had just completed a four month orientation/preparation
period which included one month in Texas (College Station and Lubbock), one month at ICRISAT (Hyderabad) and two months in France for language training. His Plan of Work included research to be conducted both at the ISC and at the INRAN research station at Kolo.
The strategy of splitting TROPSOILS research between INRAN and ISC the first year ran into immediate problems. TROPSOILS found itself in the middle of a conflict between ICRISAT and INRAN. The primary problem was that INRAN was unhappy with the ICRISAT posture in
Niger which involved aspects of both philosophy and personalities. The controversy did help us to crystallize our thinking in terms of future staffing for TROPSOILS. Follow-up discussions with both INRAN and ICRISAT led to the agreement that TROPSOILS would place a second soil
physicist in Niger who would work primarily with INRAN.
Dr. Chase would then move full-time to the ISC in 1984 working primarily on soil-water-atmosphere-plant relations. The TROPSOILS soil physicist attached to INRAN would
conduct research in soil and water conservation. Subsequently, the second soil physicist, Dr. Naraine Persaud, was recruited and arrived in Niger in March, 1984. TEi general, the subsequent overaTi-relaTionships between TROPSOILS, INRAN, and ICRISAT have been most cordial and mutually supportive.
A recurring concern in all our discussions with host country administrators and USAID mission officials was clarification of the role of a CRSP. The host country/USAID perspective, in the beginning, was that the CRSP was to function as a "technical assistance" project. Our position, of course, was to emphasize the meaning of the words "collaborative" and "support" in the CRSP acronym. We stressed that Collaborative meant that TROPSOILS and the host country institution would develop research programs of mutual concern, using shared resources. Support meant that TROPSOILS would bring in additional resources which would accelerate and sharpen on-going soil management research program in the host
7




country. The concepts of "technical advisor"/"counterpart" relationships inherent in "technical assistance" were not to be part of the CRSP model. TROPSOILS and host country soil scientists were to work on an equal basis on research Qi-mutual interest. Indications are that this working philosophy is now well accepted in Niger.
Considerable effort, during this start-up period, has been expended in identifying other donor and locally supported programs which were concerned with soils. This has resulted in either collaborative agreements or linkages with IFDC, CARE, IRAT, the Tillage Laboratory of the Agricultural University of Wageningen/Netherlands, the USAID/Forest Land Use Project, and the University of
Niamey.
D. Activities at the secondary sites.
a. Mali
For several years there have been expressions of interest from officials in Mali for assistance from Texas A&M University, and particularly from TROPSOILS, in their soil and water management research program. From the very beginning, Dr. Frank Calhoun, TROPSOILS' P.C. for the SAT Program, was involved in all discussions and developments. Concurrence was obtained from AID/Washington to explore the potential value of TROPSOILS activities in Mali, and in 1983 formal negotiations were initiated.
A Memorandum of Agreement was drafted in 1984 and it was finally signed in 1985. From the beginning, there was unanimous agreement that the program would be more effective if conducted in cooperation with INTSORMIL; hence, all the considerations have been within this
context, and the MOA was signed by both, TROPSOILS and INTSORMIL and the IRE (Institute of Rural Economy) from Mali. There are significant differences in the operational procedures between both CRSPs, particularly
with reference to signatories to agreements with collaborating institutions and to disbursement of funds. To avoid confusion from the Mali officials it was agreed that the INTSORMIL model would be followed.
The arrangement for operation and funding of the program in Mali was somewhat different from the one at the primary research site (Niger). This was due to the type of agreement signed and the lower level of funding.
Funds initially committed (less than $30,000 for the first year) did not allow TROPSOILS to post a TAMU senior scientist at Mali. Research would be conducted mainly by Malian scientists, eventually with the help of
8




TAMU junior scientists (graduate students) within the framework of a "Work Plan" mutually approved by TROPSOILS and IRE scientists. Funding/would be provided by the CRSP to partially support local research activities, including equipment, supplies, a vehicle, and training for Malian scientists. Following the ME's recommendations and in
order to insure minimum risk for both program and financial operations, periodic visits to Mali by TAMU scientists posted either in Niger or College Station would be arranged.
There was a MOA signed in 1976 between the IRE and ICRISAT to conduct agricultural research. The strategy by TROPSOILS was to conduct collaborative research in close relationship with these two institutions. As an example, Mamadou Doumbia a native from Mali, was trained in soil
management at TAMU with the support of an ICRISAT scholarship. After completion of his undergraduate program, Doumbia continued at TAMU for his M.Sc. degree under TROPSOILS' sponsorship. He is currently in Mali, performing his field work at the Cinzana Experimental Station.
There are several elements which justify
TROPSOILS involvement in Mali. Some of them are technical. Soil management research at the IRE station at Cinzana provides TROPSOILS the opportunity to work with soils that are loamier in texture than the sandy soils of Niger.
Rainfall regime is also different as it was stated under "The setting". In addition, there are some other USAID sponsored agricultural projects in Mali including a Farming Systems Research and Extension Project through SECID. TAMU is a subcontractor of SECID in this project, and the Chief of Party is Dr. Robert Chase, former TROPSOILS' senior scientist in Niger, who has been transferred by TAMU to Bamako. The apparent political stability in Mali when
compared to neighboring countries is another favorable
condition.
b. Cameroon:
TROPSOILS involvement in Cameroon represents a target of opportunity. The soil order Vertisol occupies
large areas of the semi-arid tropics; however, this group of soils is not extensive in Niger. Vertisols dominate
vast tracts of land in northern Cameroon. Bernard Yerima, a native of Cameroon, had completed a M.Sc. program at TAMU in 1984, with his research on the Vertisols of the Pacific coast of El Salvador. His colleagues in the Cameroon
Ministry of Agriculture informed him of reforestation problems encountered by ONAREF (National Office for Forest Regeneration) in northern Cameroon on these soils. TAMU submitted a proposal to ONAREF to conduct a collaborative study on the properties of these soils and interpretations for forest regeneration and agriculture. The proposal was
9




accepted and Mr. Yerima, under TROPSOILS' sponsorship, will complete his research in 1986. As will be discussed under "Future Directions", a formal collaborative research program will soon be submitted to Cameroon authorities if funding is available.
E. Recent Developments
Two elements coincided at the end of 1985, creating an important shift in the operations of the TROPSOILS SAT program: 1. the departure of Dr. Frank Calhoun, and 2. a significant budget shortfall.
Dr. Frank Calhoun was TROPSOILS SAT Principal Coordinator from 1983 through March 1986. He left TAMU to take a position at The Ohio State University. His
decision was known earlier in October 1985, and during the last three months of his stay at College Station he worked actively with Dr. E.C.A. Runge (Department Head) and Ruben Puentes (TROPSOILS Program Manager) implementing the best way to handle the transition period prior to the hiring of his replacement.
The second problem was a shortfall in FY4
budget (1984-1985). It has been evident since the start of the SAT program, that its budget had been managed with some looseness. In part, this was unavoidable in order to
accomplish the difficult task of building a research
structure in Niger, with almost no local support. Communication and shipping costs, for example, were much higher than expected, and few savings could be made on
these items without severely affecting overseas program operations. The reorganization of International
Agricultural Programs by TAMU introduced additional problems, with outstanding obligations incurred prior to September 1, 1984, being billed during FY4. The Texas A&M Research Foundation (TAMRF) took control of handling funds for TROPSOILS-SAT in September 1984, but during the first period of its administration, their monthly reports were difficult to interpret, and the information provided was neither sufficient nor timely enough to adopt appropriate corrective measurements in order to avoid budgetary problems. Prior to 1985, Dr. F. Calhoun had been working with only the help of a part time secretary. She left
TROPSOILS SAT in November 1984. In January 1985, a new full time Secretary (Gloria Northcutt) and a Program
Manager (Ruben Puentes) were hired and a revision of the management of the program started. It was found that accounts and associated budgets had not been broken down to the user level. This was an important constraint under
which each Project Leader and the P.C. operated (see 5.2). In June 1985 TAMRF met with Dr. F. Calhoun and Ruben Puentes to communicate that a deficit had been projected for the end of FY4. Several alternatives were evaluated to
10




avoid the shortfall, however the warning was too late, the money had been already encumbered and there was no way to reduce overexpenditures for FY4 below the $212,000 level.
Total expenditures for FY4 (excluding old,
FY3's bills) totaled approximately $888,000. This was the amount needed to operate the program at this stage. The proposed budget for the following fiscal year (FY5) was $695,000, but an additional reduction in the CRSP's budget was expected due to Gramm-Rudman-Holling legislation. As a consequence, a reduction in yearly expenditures for the SAT program were estimated at least by $180,000. In addition, the M.E. and the P.C. agreed to make additional savings in order to partially cover the deficit of the previous year. This level of expenditure reduction could not be obtained without some major adjustments in the program. As a
consequence, several immediate actions were taken:
1. The P.C. position would remain vacant during FY5 after Dr. F. Calhoun's departure. Dr. E.C.A. Runge would take the responsibility of the overall coordination of the project with the assistance of the Program Manager. Dr. L. Hossner was appointed as Acting Coordinator.
2. The Program Manager was requested to reorganize the budgeting system and implement an "in-house" accounting system. As a result of joint discussions, the Director of the TAES agreed to hire an additional clerical person for the Head Office to take care of the accounting at the departmental level and to help the Program Manager with this "in-house" bookkeeping. This position, which would be supported from the TAMRF's share of indirect costs, has not been filled to date.
The actions toward the reorganization of the budgeting and accounting systems are described in greater depth in the Chapter 4, "The Budget" and in the Project Statement "Cl". In summary, they include:
a. Breakdown of budgets and accounting at the
users' level.
b. Bookkeeping system at the departmental
level, parallel to the one carried out by
TAMRF.
c. New approval procedure for expenditures.
d. Improved reporting system to Project
Leaders.
e. Shift from a "petty cash" to a "revolving
account" system for overseas operations.
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3. Activities at Niger were also reorganized. It was decided that at this time, with the current budget constraints, it was not possible to support two *senior scientists overseas. After a thorough evaluation by the P.C. and the M.E. of Dr. Chase's program in collaboration with ICRISAT and Dr. Persaud's activities with INRAN, it was decided that the ICRISAT progr-am was the one that should be modified and curtailed. The nature of the rese-h~-i-b-ng conducted by Dr. Persaud, its relevance toward TROPSOILS SAT goal, current status and achievements of his projects were considered. But the fact that INRAN is the main National Agricultural Research Institute was the key consideration in the final decision. Dr. Chase was requested to come to the U.S. and remain at Lubbock to woron the fina report for his program. He was subsequently relocated by TA-MU as Chief of Party of the Mali Farming System Research and Extension Project, at Bamako.
4. The TROPSOILS' office at Niamey was closed. Office budget expenditures accounted for a significant proportion of the total overseas operational costs. With the phase down of the ICRISAT-related program, and with the offer of office space at the INRAN headquarters, the TROPSOILS
office was closed. Non-TROPSOILS funding was obtained for the reduced clerical support.
5. Additional sources of funding were explored to reinforce available "core-funds". Examples are the agreement signed with USAID/Niger to support the INRAN Soil Laboratory Assistance Program and the proposal implemented with SAFGRAD and OICD (USDA) for technology transfer (ACPO Program), which is ready for approval. At1-e same time, funds from Strengthening Grants (AID's Program Support Grant) are being used to partially cover travel expenses for senior scientists visiting other TAMU research sites in Africa. They can then visit TROPSOILS' research sites with a minimum cost to the CRSP.
2.2 Current organization
Dr. E.C.A. Runge is responsible for the overall coordination of the program after the departure of Dr. F. Calhoun. This includes direct responsibility for coordination of primary and secondary research sites, senior and junior scientists and all institutional linkages. Dr. L. Hossner has been appointed as acting program coordinator. Six project leaders are in charge of various aspects of the research program: Dr. N. Persaud, Dr. C. Wendt, Dr. L. Hossner, Dr. L. Wilding, Dr. A. Onken and Dr. R. Lascano. Dr. N. Persaud is located in Niamey, Niger. Drs. Wendt, Onken and Lascanoo are located in Lubbock. Drs. Wilding and Hssnr are located at the TAMU main campus, at College Station and they conduct their
12




research through junior scientists posted overseas.
On campus personnel, mainly Drs. Hossner and Wilding are responsible for coordination of graduate pursuits by junior scientists and in training of junior and senior scientists overseas in the areas of soil fertility and soil resources. The program administration is being handled from College Station. Ruben Puentes is the program manager and Gloria Northcutt is the secretary. Responsibilities of the College Station office are described in the project. C1: "Program Management".
The Texas A&M Research Foundation (TAMRF) is in charge of administering the grant. TAMRF's
responsibilities include:
a. Contracting with research sponsors.
b. Keeping fiscal records in accordance with
the research grant.
c. Bookkeeping and fiscal support.
d. Billing sponsors.
e. Providing periodic financial statements
for the P.C. and M.E.
f. Monitoring and reporting status of cost
sharing requirements.
g. Taking care of payments of all overseas
allowances and insurances to long term
overseas personnel.
TAMRF personnel involved with the TROPSOIL program are Steve Garrett, Sandy Wheaton and Juanita Shihadeh.
Logistical and technical backstopping has been conducted from Lubbock. These activities can be categorized in five areas:
1. Purchasing and shipping
All major and most minor items of equipment and supplies that must be obtained in the U.S. for overseas
operation are purchased from Lubbock and shipped to Africa after testing and eventual calibration.
2. Computer programming
Programming support, including both software development and problem solving, is provided to TROPSOILS' scientists posted overseas. The level of assistance in
13




this area, which was high in the initial stages of the program, is now restricted to occasional troubleshooting via telex.
3. Equipment fabrication
Equipment that can not be obtained commercially or for which the commercial cost is too high, is fabricated at Lubbock. The best example is the rainfall simulator now located in Niger.
4. General technical support
General technical support includes technical advice provided to overseas personnel (senior and junior scientists), in response to problems with equipment
operation.
5. Training
Training conducted at Lubbock mainly consists of training provided to junior scientists enroute to overseas assignments.
Personnel involved in backstopping activities from Lubbock include Robert Lascano, Stan Hicks, Danny Meason, Jimmy Mabry, Norma Piwonka, and Donna Holdren, under the leadership of Dr. C. Wendt.
14




Re s e arc h Pro gram




3. RESEARCH PROGRAM
3.1 The original approach and its evolution.
The research program for TROPSOILS-SAT started with a very broad set of goals. As mentioned in the Program Overview,
original objectives included soil characterization and cl ification, wind and-water erosion control,-and development
--s- -a-nd crop mana e n pact ices un er water stress
contions i --r1-nfed a,. The pos5 ility of
supplemental irrigation was also considered. Priorities among these different goals were not clearly defined at the starting point. Some uncertainties about specific research needs from the national institutions coupled with lack of first hand information about some basic aspects of the behavior of a
completely new ecosystem partially explained this lack of specificity in the initial approach. However, a program with a limited budget an t-b TROPSQI SATL..cnid not pretend to cover the wide range of activities origi j proposed.
African agriculture has probably been less affected by technological change in the past two decades than agriculture on any other continent. No country in the Sahel has shown a clearly visible departure from the production trend line that could be attributed to the adoption of an improved technology package. So far, the region has experienced nothing like the "Green Revolution" in Asia, and there is no evidence that when
technological change comes to Africa, it will follow a similar pathway 1/. Favorable conditions which were available in Asia and parts of Latin America, such as infrastructure, possibilities for irrigation and availability of water and fertilizers are absent. Labor availability and possibilities of mechanization are also different. Within this framework, the task for the breeder is much more difficult, and the soil
scientist's is crucial for the development of low input soil and crop management technology.
For these reasons, some experts think that the whole
question of research methodology for food production in SubSaharan Africa needs to be rethought and that no spectacular achievements should be expected in the short term. The shotgun approach to finding solutions has produced no significant
increase in agricultural production. The crop-specific approach which has been the focus of some research programs has not
1/ Christensen Ch., A. Dommen, N. Horenstein, S. Pryor, P. Riley, S. Shapouri and H. Steiner (1981). Food problems and prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa and Middle East Branch, International Economic Division, E.R.S., U.S.D.A., Foreign
Agricultural Economic Report No. 166.
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yet resulted in viable technology packages. A new approach to agricultural research incorporating a strong sense of 0 Eilon aidnvo lvn interdisciplinar- efforts is badly d. The
TROPSOI -SAT program, with some difficulty, has been trying to f--it niche within the framework of international research
institutions and national research organizations. The bulk of the actual research task will obviously fall to the national research networks where they exist (INRAN in the case of Niger, for example). They know traditional farming systems that cannot be neglected as part of the foundation for developing an appropiate technology. However, they must develop their ability to generate their own production solutions. Efforts to transfer large-scale production systems founded on alien objectives have seldom achieved their intended results 2/ at least in Africa. The input from international organizations and bilateral
agreements should be focused to guide, encourage and facilitate local or regional efforts and provide expertise in specific matters, when needed.
As a result of this thinking, the scope of the program has been significantly narrowed following three years of operation. Additional factors for this evolution were: (1) Our close
contact with scientists from collaborating institutions (INRAN, Niger; IRE, Mali; ICRISAT, IRAT, ORSTOM, etc); (2) Basic information gathered from the initial research; and (3) Recognition of farmers' needs through director ratnd contacts. Altese factors al dROSOILS' senior scientists 'ET-oirs the program. Some of the original objectives were abandoned, new objectives were introduced and priorities among the different components of the program were established.
Within the framework of the general goal of TROPSOILS ( "to develop and adapt improved soil management technology which is agronomically, ecologically and economically sound for developing countries in the tropics"), the focus of the SAT component was confined to soil water and fertility studies in order to develop and adapt low input soil management practices to increase food production on a sustained basis. Increased food production and a slow down or reversal of land degradation represented a dual challenge for the TROPSOILS-SAT.
2/ Mabbut J. A. (1980). Research and training for management of arid lands. The United Nations University. NRTS-13/UNUP-198.
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To support this apPliedresearch__ffort, some fundamental studies were--immediately recognized as having a high priority. It is extremely risky to establish a whole research program on soil and water management with important gaps on the soil and agroclimatic data bases. Some basic information was available although it was necessary to process it in order to make it
useful. This was particularly true for agroclimatological characteristics. Soil information, on the other hand, was both scarce and-dispersed, and usually, generalized and of questionable reliability. In addition, some fundamental pieces of research were also needed dealing with plant behavior under the singular set of ecological conditions of the Sahelian environment.
Finally, interpretative, integrative studies dealing with land suitability evaluation for specific land uses were idenied by national scientists as an important field of
research. As this kind of activity would integrate all research findings, identify research gaps and have an immediate practical application in land use planning, it was decided to include it within our research program.
It was not an easy task to articulate a research program focused on soil water and fertility management, considering the problem of natural resource degradation and filling the gaps of fundamental knowledge under the constraints of a limited budget and minimun local logistical and technical support. The following is a brief summary of the linkages among specific topics of research included in each component of the TROPSOILSSAT program.
3.2 Research areas and projects interlinkages
3.2.1 Soil water and fertility management: technology
development and evaluation.
(Research activities under this heading had been previously grouped under the title "Modification of the soil-plantatmosphere system in semi-arid environments")
The target of the TROPSOILS-SAT program is to develop or adapt appropiate soil water and fertility management practice or te a e ian environment. The final goal is to increase ood production on a sustained basis, considering the risks of land degradation of alternative land uses. Management practices X
should be evaluated within the framework of the socioeconomical dei promote tioal i Qfl'on O / /FC
Two main areas of research were identified: a) soil and water management technology development and evaluation for rainfed agriculture and b) soil and water technology
development and evaluation for degraded Sahelian forest lands.
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Technology for rainfed agriculture.
Small farmers are responsible for the bulk of grain production in the Sahel. Rainfed millet and sorghum production is the most common land use system from the regions of higher rainfall up to approximately the 300 mm isohyet. It is
traditional and extensive, with tools and techniques that have undergone very little change for centuries. This can be
considered as a subsistence sector, where the objective function of each unit is to minimize the risk of production fai n a naturally d-ff-icu t and unpredictable environment. Although the first priority is to cover family demands, part of the crop is sold or traded for basic items like salt and cloth 3/. Men, women and children all form part of the production unit's labor force. The attitude toward risk and the mechanisms used to alleviate risk are important structural aspects. Unexpected results obtained by extension programs operating in this subsistence sector ofrainfed agriculture can often be ascribed to a lack of understanding of objective functions. Several authors, however, have shown the rationality of decisionmaking by Sahelian farmers confronted with the recommendation of such extension programs. Resource constraints may prevent most farmers from adopting the full recommended improved technology package, and bette results maybe achieved using available
resources to farm larger areas less intensively and Ithrough expanIng the range --of crops rown. Thus, there is no reason to Believe that merely providing inputs like fertilizers will be sufficient to induce the rainfed agriculture subsistence sector to adopt them.
Millet is the most widespread food crop. It is well adapted to the semiarid tropics and, as the most drought-resistant and tolerant major crop, can be counted upon to provide a minimal yield even in very bad years. In Niger, millet is the most common crop on sandy soils. Although the main research efforts have been in breeding, no technological breakthrough has occurred in the improvement of millet varieties. Limited research has been carried out on most agronomic practices with the exception of fertilization, and this has contributed to the lack of improvement in millet production systems at the farm level 4/. IRAT and ICRISAT have millet research as one of their mandates. Plant breeders have found, however, that genetic materials from India did not do well in Africa, and no direct transfer of plant material is possible 5/.
3/ Ancey G. (1975). Niveaux de decision et fonctions objectives en milieu rural Africain. AMIRA, No. 3, INSEE, Paris.
4/ Fussell L. K. (1983). Millet agronomic research in the
Sahelian zone. Review Meeting on Farming System Research for West Africa.
5/ Christensen C. et al., op. sit.
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Variety evaluation and technology package development'have to be done in situ, but African soils where millet is grown are understood even less well than in India, with scientists only now becoming aware of the complexity of the soil water management plant interaction.
TROPSOILS-SAT research activities dealing with soil water, fertility and crop management in rainfed agriculture include experiments on a wide range of agronomic practices:
a. Cropping systems, including crop sequences and intercropping
b. Tillage
c. Fertilization
d. Residue management
e. Biomass control (tillering management)
f. Microclimate modification g. Rainfall/runoff management
These experiments are grouped in several, interdependent projects. The most comprehensive is "Evaluation and/or development *of low to intermediate input soil, water or crop management practices to r ase and/or stabilize yields of
rainfed crops" (Project B.5). It is being conducted by Dr. Persaud in several locations in Niger, and most of these
agronomic practices and their interactions are being tested. The project "Increasing available soil water and crop yield, through tillage and fertilization" (B.13) by Dr. Wendt in Mali attacks similar problems. "Rooting pattern studies on millet and cowpeas" (B.9), by Dr. Hossner, also deals with water/fertility interactions in intercropping systems. Soil fertility and its interactions are basic research topics in project B11 ("Water use efficiency and soil fertility interactions") by Dr. Onken. The project "Tillage practices to control sandblasting and improve water use" (B.1) by Dr. R. Chase is focused toward soil surface modifications, and particularly, the use of a modified version of the Texas sandfighter. The representativeness and possibilities of extrapolation of research developments from all these projects is assured by basic studies on characterization of soil and climate of research sites (covered in projects A.1 and A.8).
Microclimate modification is another approach to increase and/or-stabilize crop yields. This is the topic of projecB .7 "Modification of agroclim-ate and crop phenology between rows of Neem tree windbreaks" by Dr. Persaud. It has been also studied by Dr. Lascano within his project "Water and energy balance in a bare soil" (A.5).
Runoff management can result in a more efficient use of rainfall waters, increasing crop yields and alleviating the problem of water erosion. This can be done through surface
modification at the farm level (strip cropping, water harvesting, sandfighting, etc) or at the small watershed level.
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This is the topic of the project "Rainfall management to
increase crop yields" (B.2) by Dr. Persaud in Niger. The
sandfighter experiment (B.1) also explores these effects.
Furrow-diking is one of the treatments included in the
fertility/tillage experiment at Mali (B.13). Fundamental studies on soil physical properties, soil water balance, watershed hydrology and geomorphology are supportive to this research (projects A.1, A.2, A.5, A.6 and A.8).
Technology for degraded, forest lands.
The process of desertification is obvious and measurable all along the Sahel. The desert does not usually move forward in a straight line, but spreads like a skin disease, in blotches and spots 6/. There is evidence indicating that there exists an element of the desertification process that is natural. But there is no doubt that mankind is the great accelerator of the change. He is speeding up the process through improper land use and overgrazing, most of these activities associated with his desperate attempts to supply basic food and fuel needs.
The dual challenge, food production and resource conservation in the Sahel cannot be approached throughthe manipulation of only a few components of the system. There is no easy soluti to a very com-p-lex problem; no simple political choice; no ideal economic alternative; no single appropiate technology; and no solution which does not involve serious
social and cultural adjustments 7/. It has been stated that a holistic approach is necessary; one that goes beyond rmatLanal boundaries to deal with the Sahel as a region; one that encompases the totality of its life, resources and relationships; and one that considers its numerous links to adjacent regions and beyond 8/. Within this framework, it would be utopic to expect a spectacular input from TROPSOILS-SAT activities on this matter with the current staffing and budget. The strategy is to collaborate with other institutions, providing the expertise of our scientists, particularly in the area of soil water management.
6/ Thatcher P. S. (1979). Desertification: the greatest single environmental threat. UNEP Desertification Control Bull. Vol. 2, No. 1.
7/ Thomas G. (1980). The Sahelian/Sudanian zones of Africa: Profile of a fragile environment. New Mexico St. University Int. Pub. Series, Tech. Information Publ. 0001-81.
8/ Fauck R. (1977). Soil erosion in the Sahelian zone of Africa: Its control and its effect on agricultural production. Proc. of the Int. Symposium on Rainfed Agriculture in Semi-Arid Region. U. of California, Riverside.
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TROPSOILS has, however, some specific research efforts
closely related with the reclamation of degraded forest soils. These activities deal mainly with :
a. Forest rejuvenation
b. Runoff management on degraded soils
Through the project "Rejuvenation of crusted forest soils" (B.3) in Niger, by Dr. Chase, selected mulch, tillage and runoff controlling treatments are being tested. This is a cooperative activity with INRAN and the AID/Niger funded project FLUP (Forest Land Use Project). Basic research on the water and energy balance of these soils (project A.4) is supportive to these studies.
3.2.2 Base line data studies
(Research activities under this heading had been previously grouped under the tittle "Characterization of the soil-plantatmosphere system in semi-arid environments")
The challenge to double food production in 20 years, and yet protect the resource base in this fragile environment, cannot be met with the present knowledge base 9/. Of course, the TROPSOILS-SAT program cannot include a comprehensive research effort emcompassing areas like ecosystem analysis, energy flow, nutrient cycling, etc. Besides, this is not its mandate.
However, most of the applied research grouped under 3.1, which represents the main effort of the SAT program toward the fullfillment of its goal, require some support from fundamental studies. Without this base line data studies, most of the
technology development efforts would include an element of uncertainty that the program cannot afford. Perhaps, the most clear example would be the characterization of TROPSOILS'
research sites from the standpoint of soil and climate. Without this information, extrapolation of research results to other Sahelian regions would not be possible.
The following is a short summary of TROPSOILS-SAT basic research activities, and their linkages with the applied research program.
Three areas of research can be identified within the base line data studies: a) agroclimatic data base, b) soil data base and c) plant behavior under semi arid environments.
9/ Thomas G., op sit.
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AgroclimAtic data base
The overriding environmental factor in the characterization of the Sahelian region is climate, particularly rainfall. The extreme variability of precipitation in time and space and the extremely high annual evapotranspiration in relation with rainfall have significant effects on crop yields and on the date of start and length of the growing season. Accordingly, two fields of study were identified as needed: a) quantification of rainfall patterns and legth of the growing season, and b) soil water balance studies.
The project "Quantification of rainfall patterns and hydrology of representative cropped soils of Niger" (A.1), by Dr. Persaud, covers the topics:
a. Spatial and temporal variation of wet/dry periods
b. Frequency distribution of wet/dry periods
c. Overall trends of wet/dry periods
d. Periodicities and patterns of wet/dry periods
This project represents an effort for quantifying relevant aspects of the Sahelian climate in relation with agriculture, and to characterize important parameters of the growing season on a probabilistic basis. This information is essential for soil water management technology development and evaluation. The linkages with projects B.5, B.7 and B.9 are evident. As regional characteristics of the growing season have an overriding influence on the suitability of the land to specific uses, the information obtained from A.1 will be highly useful for the "land evaluation" component in project A.8.
There are several projects related to the soil water balance under semi arid environments: projects A.4 ("Water
and energy balance in Sahelian soils"), A.5 ("Water and energy balance in a bare soil") and A.6 ("Water and energy balance of crops with an incomplete canopy cover"), by Drs. Chase and Lascano. As the measurement of the different components of the soil water balance is often impractical, a modeling approach has been choosen with climatic data as main input. Estimations of evaporation from bare soil and evapotranspiration from incomplete canopy and relevant crops will also provide valuable information to technology development projects B.5, B.7 and B.9.
Soil data base.
Characterization of the soil resources is the second component of the base line data studies in support of the technology development effort. Many of the difficulties which must be overcome in order to develop crop management packages for the Sahel are soil related. Soils are highly fragile, droughty and commonly exhibit chemical toxicities and/or nutrient deficiencies. Several of these soil properties are
22




closely related' to geomorphology and hydrology. Spatial variability in most of these properties is a common feature. In addition, the representativeness of target research sites must be assessed to be able to extrapolate research results.
Fundamental studies have been initiated in two main areas: (a) soil characterization and classification, and (b) surface/subsurface hydrology of small watersheds and dallols.
Soil characterization and classification are permanent activities. They include:
a. Soil inventories of research sites and research
stations.
b. Soil-geomorphology relationships.
c. Spatial variability studies.
d. Dust inputs.
Project A.8, by Dr. Wilding, includes all these topics. Projects A.2 and B.4 deal specifically with the variability
problem. Soil variability over short distances is hampering the interpretation of research results both at INRAN and ICRISAT research stations. Eolian dust inputs from the Sahara Desert are postulated as renewal vectors for nutrients. The relationship with those projects dealing with water/fertility interactions (B.5, B.11 and B.13) is obvious.
Activities related with surface/subsurface hydrology are conducted both on cropped and forest soils. However, dallols and small watersheds associated with scarps from lateric plateaus are target areas. Studies include:
a. Quantifying physical/hydrological properties.
b. Moisture balance of bare and cropped soils in
different agroecological Sahelian zones.
c. Surface hydrology in small watersheds.
d. Groundwater studies.
e. Soil crusting studies.
The quantification of physical/hydrological properties of major cropped and forest soils, and the characterization of their water balance is supportive to all projects dealing with the development of appropiate soil, water and crop management technologies. These activities are included in projects A.1, A.4 and A.8.
Surface hydrology of small watersheds is a basic study in support of our efforts to develop appropiate techniques toward intensive utilization of valleys collecting runoff from
lateritic plateaus. Both, fundamental and applied research are included in Project B.2. The soil/geomorphology component of project A.8 is also related with this topic.
One alternative for the intensification of land use in the dallols -is the development of small irrigation projects,
particularly in those areas with shallow water tables. Although
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irrigation is not a TROPSOILS-SAT priority research topic at this time, our expertise can provide a significant input through studies on water table fluctuations and water quality. This is one objective in project A.8.
Finally, soil crusting is an important constraint both to crop production and forest rejuvenation. Project A.11 deals with this problem.
Plant behavior under semi-arid environments
In order to develop soil water and fertility managementtechnology for the Sahel, a thorough understanding of the plant response to water stress is needed. Specific areas of research which have been identified as needed for technology development include:
a) water efficiency in relatioship with soil
fertility, for different cultivars
b) root development under different soil
moisture and chemical conditions.
There are no specific projects in the TROPSOILS-SAT program covering these two topics. Nevertheless, water efficiency and water use are important components of project B. 11; root development studies are included in projects B.5 and B.9.
3.2.3 Integrative studies: land evaluation
Land suitability can be defined as the fitness of a given area of land for a defined kind of land use. The assessment is performed on the assumption that the defined land use will be sustained and that the environmental quality must be preserved or improved on the site and in adjacent areas. INRAN scientists have expressed their interest in developing land suitability schemes for rainfed sorghum and millet. The topic has been tentatively included as a part of project A.8, although due to its comprehensiveness, an independent project may be implemented in the future.
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The framework for land evaluation developed by FAO will be used as a model 10/. There are some examples of land suitability schemes for semiarid conditions, as those developed for Sudan 11/, Zambia 12/, and Burkina Faso 13/. However, they can be used only as models. Key elements of the evaluation scheme are the definition and description of land use types and the
technological levels assumed, and both of them have to be described and defined within the constraints and conditions of the country, or even, at a regional level. Project A.1 will supply basic information on climate and characteristics of the growing season which will be matchet with crop requirements. Projects B.2, B.5, B.7 and B.13 will provide technological components which will be utilized for the definition of land use types and technological levels.
3.3 Project statements.
The following is a list of "Project Statements" prepared with information provided by Project Leaders.
10/ FAO (1976). A framework for land evaluation. Soil Res. Bull. No. 32. Rome.
11/ Van Der Kevie W. (ed) (1976). Manual for land suitability classification for agriculture. Soil Survey Administration, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Democratic Republic of Sudan.
12/ Kalina C. and W. J. Veldkamp (1986). Quantified land
evaluation in Zambia. ISSS Workshop on Quantified Land
Evaluation, Washington D.C.
13/ Driessen P. M. and C. A. Van Diepen (1986). WOFOST, a
procedure for estimating the production possibilities of land use systems. ISSS Workshop on Quantified Land Evaluation, Washington D.C
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PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: A.1
Title:
Quantification of rainfall patterns and hydrology of representative cropped soil of Niger.
Objectives:
I. Quantify temporal variation and distribution, overall trends and periodicities, patterns of wet and dry spells of rainfall and length of the growing season.
2. Measure and /or catalog the physical and hydrological properties of major cropped soils in Niger, quantifying moisture loss patterns and rain-use efficiency.
3. Estimate evapotranspiration of economically important crops from climatic data.
Applicability:
Objectively. Statistical analysis of daily rainfall records are usef for identifying seasonal rainfall patterns, length of growing period, and risks associated with monsoonal rainfall gradients. These results provide valuable information for the development of rational soil and water-management practices for rainfed agriculture: estimation of runoff and moisture balances, design of rainfall networks, planning of experiments and minimization of risks by response farming using seasonal predictors.
Objective 2. Soil hydrological characteristics are essential to estimate soil water storage and balance components in the field in
evaluation of suitability for irrigation. They need to be measured in the field since laboratory generated data are often not representative of the field situation.
9jective 3. Crop evapotranspiration (ET) information is vital for irrigation ctmign scheduling, and for estimating crop water deficits, during the growing season.
Project Leader: Naraine Persaud (Texas A&M University) Collaborators: I. Alfari (Service Meteorologie)
M. Ouattara (INRAN) M. Gandah (INRAN) A. Adoulaye (INRAN)
W. Payne (TAMU) J. Landeck (TAMU)
Research Site: Niger
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Objective 1
Relevance:
Results of these studies can be used by breeders in introduction and/or development of varieties suited to the environmental constraints and risks in Niger. Such information as stated elsewhere are sine qua non to the successful planning and designing of management of small watersheds which abound in Niger. They allow a more detailed and quantitative insight into the agroecology of dryland cereal production in Niger and provides the essential basis for rational development or transfer of soil-water management concepts and practices. As an example, it was the preliminary results of these studies that led to the concept of judicious biomass reduction to conserve water during growth of the millet crop (see project B.5); a technique which preliminary results indicate may have potential as a low-input water-conservation practice.
Accomplishments:
The analysis of rainfall records has allowed the definition of the growing season for eleven locations in Niger.
A possible forward predictor of rainfall pattern during the growing season was developed.
ObIectives 2/3
Relevance:
The results of the these studies are essential to development of practical soil-water management techniques and assessment of short-term seasonal drought conditions. It is hypothesied that on the sandy soils of Niger the behaviour of the zero-plane of flux which is being evaluated in this study is an important determinant of soil moisture utilization by cereals under rainfed conditions.
Accomplishments:
information on physical and hydrological properties of some of the most common cropped soils in Niger has been collected and moisture loss patterns have been quantified.
Future plans:
Studies will continue uf *n completion.
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PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number :A.2
Title: Scaling soil hydraulic properties.
Objective:
Scale soil hydraulic properties using algorithms based on the concept of similar media.
Applicability:
In general, scaling of soil hydraulic properties can be used for two purposes. First, to simplify and combine measured soil hydraulic properties of numerous locations within an experimental unit into representative means. The scale factor then relates the measured data at each location to the representative means. The second purpose is the prediction of soil-water flow in the experimental area as a function of the scaling factor. Once the distribution is known, key values of the scaling factor can be used in dynamic simulation models to predict the variability of hydraulic processes.
Project Leader: Dr. Robert Lascano (Texas Agricultural Experiment Station) Collaborator: Leo Stroosnijder (Wageningen Agricultural University)
Research Site: TAES, Lubbock
Achievements and relevance:
Results obtained suggest that distribution of soil hydraulic properties is neither normal nor log normal. Futhermore, from the semivariance of the scaling factor, the data suggest that the scale factor has spatial structure and that the values are related up to 20 m. This property indicates that the scale factor is not randomly distributed.
The method being proposed can be used provided there is an experimental verification of the calculated soil-water retention curves. The advantage is in its simplicity and ease of use. It has widespread application to characterize the variability associated with the hydraulic properties of a soil using dynamic models of the flow of water and heat.
Future Plans:
This project has been completed.
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PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: A.4 (Includes projects A.4 and A.7 from previous reports)
Title: Water balance and energy in Sahelian soils.
Objectives:
1. To characterize energy and water balance of Sahelian forest soils
under wooded and barren conditions. - 6
2. To characterize water and energy balance in agricultural soils with
different surface treatments.
Applicability:
1. Forest soils
By comparing aerial photographs from 1950 and 1979, we have estimated that the area covered by trees in the forests near Niamey, Niger, has decreased dramatically during this 29 year period. Because forest lands
represent sources of animal fodder, fire-wood, gum, medicines and many other domestic and commercial byproducts, the loss of this resource has direct impact on lives of rural inhabitants as well as on the soil and
environmental factors of the area. The crusted, barren soils left as
vegetation recedes causes severe water runoff from rainstorm events,
decreasing soil water recharge and increasing soil erosion downslope. Soil temperatures increase greatly, influencing the environment of the entire forest. In order to reverse this form of desertification, we must
understand how the system functions by studying energy and water balances and soil properties of areas within and between vegetated and barren forest soils.
2. Agriculture soils
Millet varieties which have been brought from other countries have shown inconclusive behavior when tested in Niger. Differences in soil temperature regime may have some influence in this response.
Project Leader: Robert Chase (Texas A&M University) Collaborators: Mamadou Issaka (INRAN)
Phil Serafini (ICRISAT)
A. Bationo (IFDC)
J. Heermans (FLUP) J. Seve (FLUP)
Research site: Niger
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Achievements and relevance:
1. Forest soils
Soil temperature profiles at the time of maximum and minimum surface soil temperature show that, before the rainy season began, the bare trees reduced peak surface soil temperatures by 7 C. During the rainy season, the soil temperature profiles show a marked effect of vegetation on soil temperature throughout the profile: difference in surface soil temperatures between vegetated and barren areas can approach 10 C. Natural vegetation and applied mulch also decreased soil temperature fluctuations at
2 cm depth.
Water infiltrates deeper in soils that are vegetated than in barren soils. During the rainy season, data collected shows that relative humidity between the middle of the vegetated and an area three meters away from the tree line (2 m elevation) frequently reached 10% or more during the day while air temperatures differed by 3-4 C. Hot, drier air moving from the barren areas may have an effect on the evapotranspiration within the vegetated areas they surround. After the rainy season, heat flux increases. temperatures in the deep soils, as shown by the slope of the temperature curves.
Mulching a barren forest soil surface has a positive effect on soil temperature. While the soil temperature at 2 cm depth in the experimental site was usually around 5 C cooler than the crusted control soil before mulching; once mulched, temperature fluctuations in the mulched soil decreased in magnitude and the mulched soil temperature at this depth became
5 up to 12 C cooler than the crusted control within a few days.
2. Agricultural soils
Although interpretation of results was difficult due to extreme
variability, it can be concluded that during the cropping season, the soil at 50 cm. depth is about 15 and 5 C warmer than soils at likedepth in Texas and India. (Results of crop yield data were inconclusive due to
variability) There are millet and sorghum breeding programs both in Texas and India, with the hope to use selected varieties in the Sahel. These differences in soil temperature, which affect soil chemistry, soil
microbiology and plant physiology, must be taken into account when selecting for germplasm to be evaluated in the Sahel.
Future plans:
This project has been suspended.
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PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: A. 5
Title: Water and energy balance in a bare soil.
Objective:
Mechanistically calculate and describe the water and energy balance of a bare soil with a simulation model using as input soil physical properties and daily weather variables.
Applicability:
The characterization of the water balance of bare soils is necessary to quantify the processes involved for water management of the area under investigation. These include water loss due to evaporation and drainage and water gains due to rainfall and capillary rise integrated over the soil profile. Of particular importance is the amount of water lost due to
evaporation, and the amount of plant available water stored in the soil profile. The measurement of the different components of the water balance as a function of time is difficult and often not practical. One solution to this problem is to use a physical model that mechanistically describes the system. In this way the gains and losses of water can be followed with time and their relative magnitude can be evaluated.
Personnel/Institution: Robert Lascano (Texas Agric. Exper. St.) Collaborators: C. Van Bavel (TAMU)
Research Site: TAES, Lubbock, Texas
Achievements and relevance:
From our results it can be concluded that the proposed algorithm used in the model correctly calculates daily and cumulative evaporation over
time. This is a significant result because it enables us to calculate daily evaporation rates from weather data and soil hydraulic properties. Generally the measurement of evaporation is difficult and by using models that mechanistically describe the process of soil evaporation it is now possible to fill data gaps when measurements are not available.
Future plans:
This project has been completed.
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PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: A.6
Title: Water and energy balance of crops with an incomplete canopy cover
objective: Predict water use by crops with a partial canopy in a semiarid
climate.
Applicability:
In semiarid areas of the world crops depend upon stored soil water and rainfall as the supply of water used in the processes of transpiration and evaporation. Frequently, these crops are exposed to severe water and nutrient shortages than invariably limit crop production and thus yield. In order to quantify crop production in semiarid areas the interactions of the soil with the crop and its climate has to be included. These studies will provide an estimate of the levels of production (yield) that can be achieved given a quantity of water. This objective applies to the agronomic conditions of both the High Plains of Texas and of West Africa.
The components of the system are divided in two balances, water and energy. Each balance is given by the quantification of its inputs and outputs with the realization that we are dealing with a system that is continously changing. The integration of these balances is accomplished using mechanistic simulation models that aid us in the interpretation of our experimental results. Furthermore due to the nature of the models used, which are not site specific, they can be applied directly to different geographic areas.
Project Leader: Robert J. Lascano (Texas Agricultural. Experiment Station) Collaborators: C. Van Bavel (TAMU)
J.M. Baker (TAMU)
J.L. Hatfield (USDA, ARS)
Research Site: Lubbock, Texas
Accomplishments and Relevance:
To date this project has addressed two specific studies. The first one
was the characterization of the water and energy balance of a bare soil. The results of this work are summarized in the following publication:
Lascano, R.J. and C.H.M. van Bavel. 1986. Simulation and measurement
of evaporation from a bare soil. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. (In press).
This study dealt with a comprehensive method for the simultaneous solution of the equation of continuity for water and heat in a soil system. The solution is obtained at frequent, fixed intervals and the moisture and temperature profiles are printed when desired. The distinguishing characteristic of the model is that it generates the instantaneous evaporation rate, from-the ambient weather and the momentary values of soil moisture and temperatures. The evaporative flux is found by a combination method, that is, a combination of the surface energy balance and a model of the fluxes above and below that surface. Inputs to the model are the soil hydraulic properties and the timedependent weather variables: global radiation, air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and amount and duration of rainfall.
32




This model represents a comprehensive, yet a fairly simple model of water
disposition in a bare soil profile under the sequential impact of rain storms and other atmospheric influences, as they occur from hour to hour. This model
is a precursor of similar work for a crop. However, it is emphasized that a
critical test of the simple case, e.g. bare soil, was needed before the
complexities of the hydrology of a crop could be studied.
The second study, currently in progress, deals with the water and energy
balance of a crop with an incomplete canopy cover. The main purpose of this
study is the measurement of water use (evapotranspiration) as a function of 7/ time for a cotton crop. Again, this is a simple model that can be used to
- evaluate the water use of any crop as the soil water reserves are depleted and
as the soil is replenished by rainfall or irrigation. It is a working model
that can be used to study the soil-plant-water relations of a row crop and to
evaluate the separation of soil evaporation from plant transpiration. This model can also be used to evaluate the water use of a millet crop, which is
characterized for its wide row spacing and low leaf area throughout the growing
season. A preliminary report of this work will be presented in the American
Society of Agronomy meetings in New Orleans, LA.
Other accomplishments have been summarized in the following publications:
Van Bavel, C.H.M., R.J. Lascano, and J.M. Baker. 1985. Calibration
of two-probe gamma-gauge densitometers. Soil Sci. 140:393-395.
Lascano, R.J., J.L. Hatfield, and C.H.M. van Bavel. 1986. Field calibration of neutron meters using a two-probe gamma density gauge.
Soil Sci. (In Press).
Future Plans:
This project is addressing the long term objective of evaluating crop production in semiarid climates to both the conditions of the High Plains of Texas
and of West Africa. From the production point of view these two system are subject to similar constraints, water and nutrient, that limit crop yields.
However, due to the complexities associated with the evaluation of the interactions of the soil with the crop and climate a mechanistic approach has been
selected to first study individual components and then their interactions.
Experimentally this project has studied the water and energy balance of a
bare soil and of a cotton crop with an incomplete canopy. That is, we have
started with a simple system, e.g., bare soil, and then added the crop to
study evapotranspiration as a precursor of studying dry matter (yield) production. Currently, we have evaluated the water and energy interaction and
have not addressed the production of dry matter as affected by soil nutrients
and water availability. These studies represent the future plans of this
project. Because of the approach we have selected to study crop production we
will be able to quantify production levels as a function of soil water and
nutrient availability for semiarid climates. Furthermore, this project makes
use of the information that is being collected by the soil-water fertilityproject of Dr. Onken and Dr. Wendt.
Ideally, through graduate students, the postulated theories should be tested
and evaluated in Niger, West Africa. This would be an agronomic experiment in which the interaction of soil water with nutrients, and yield of a millet crop
?C would be studied. The results obtained from these experiments could directly applied to make management recommendations to farmers.
E.~4e~~<33




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: A.8
Title: Soil Resource Evaluation in the Semi-arid Tropics.
Objectives:
1. Establish baseline soil resource conditions for major soils and
targeted research sites in the semi-arid tropics to facilitate understanding of soil water/fertility interactions and technology
transfer.
2. Establish the quantity and composition of dust inputs into
semi-arid tropics as a nutrient renewal vector to soil
water/fertility interactions.
3. Integrate soil, climate and plant interactions into a land
evaluation model closely tied to toposequence/land use
relationships for millet and sorghum.
Applicability:
Soil resources in the Sahel region of Africa are highly fragile, droughty and commonly exhibit chemical toxicities and/or nutrient deficiencies. Soil and climatic constraints pose the major
limitations to agricultural development. Soil physical, chemical and mineralogical conditions control soil water/fertility interactions, which in turn are closely interlinked to topography/geomorphology/ hydrology. This is well demonstrated by current land use patterns. The purpose of this project is to establish baseline soils information that documents the classification of soil resources, establishes their pertinent properties relative to soil water/fertility interactions and assesses representivity of target research sites relative to surrounding areas. Development of a land evaluation scheme
synergistically intergrating soil, climate and plant interactions would facilitate technology transfer and enhance applicability of current TropSoils research efforts.
Eolian dusts from "harmattan" winds from northern and eastern Sahara Desert during the dry season and high intensity convectional storms during the rainy season have been postulated to enrich soils with nutrients. Thus, a system of dust traps to verify-or negate this hypothesis has been established in Niger at two research sites.
Project Leader: Larry P. Wilding (Texas A&M University)
Collaborators: Elisabeth Bui, (Texas A&M University)
Bernard Yerima, (Texas A&M University)
Anne Pfordresher, (Texas A&M University)
Ruben Puentes (Texas A&M University)
Research Sites: Niger, Mali and Cameroon.
34




Accouplishments and Relevance:
Soil resources at target research sites in Niger and Cameroon have been classified and analyzed for pertinent physical, chemical and mineralogical properties that are germaine to soil water/fertility interactions. A total of 51 pedons, 258 samples, and 9600 analyses have been completed for this purpose. The Soil Survey of the ICRISAT Center was the first project completed and served as a benchmark for subsequent soil/geomorphological studies of surrounding uplands and of the Dallol Bosso. This work verified the following soil resource
conditions in Niger:
1. The thickness of sand over ironstone, a subsurface
impediment, is critical to water movement and plant rooting volume; laterite strongly controls land use for agricultural
purposes.
2. Plant response is highly spatially variable over lateral
distances of a few meters reflecting soil spatial variability
in chemical properties.
3. Most upland soils are red, well oxidized, sandy, acid, weakly
structural, low activity clay systems that strongly covary in soil thickness, base status, erosivity and available water content with landform (geomorphology). Better croplands occur in lower topographic positions with laterite-capped
plateaus relegated to pastorial rangelands and forests.
4. Most of the clays in these soils are easily water dispersible
which is responsible for clay enrichment in subsoils, sandy surface horizons, and propensity to form surface crusts and
dense, hard subsoils when exposed by wind or water erosion.
5. Management implications of the upland resources are: low
nutrient and water retention, weakly buffered soil systems, weakly structured soils, strong susceptibility to wind and water erosion, easily induced compaction and crusting (or sealing) surfaces, chemical toxicities (Al and possibly Mn)
and phosphorous deficiencies.
6. Soils in the Dallol Bosso (fossil valley of sandy alluvium
which has been wind-sculptured into low dunes and abandoned channels) are spatially more variable in texture, drainage and mineralogy than those of the ICRISAT Center. Watertables
during the rainy season occur at I to 7 m below the surface.
The soils of dunal landforms are well-oxidized, well drained,
deep sands with little or no subsoil clay enrichment.
Depressed areas of abandoned lakes or channels are more variable in texture (sands to clay loams), less well-drained, less acid and have clays with higher sorption capacity than dunal analogues. The latter soils are also seasonally
reduced and subject to surficial accumulation of salts and ironstone layers that pose constraints to agriculture
development.
35




In general, these soils are highly susceptible to wind erosion, especially in the northern drier sectors below 300 to 400 mm precipitation; however, in central and southern sectors with increased precipitation, they are unique soil resources capable of more intensive cropping with potential for small-scale subsistence irrigation and intercropping between forested windbreaks as practiced in the Maggia
Valley.
Preliminary results indicate that dust inputs to the Sahel may significantly impact nutrient renewal. The CEC and exchangeable Ca, Mg, Na and K are from 10 to 30 fold higher from dusts than similar properties for surface soils of the area.
Expressed on an area basis for the 3 month collection period, this would represent 35 kg/ha of Ca, 5 kg/ha Mg, 5 kg/ha Na and 17 kg/ha of K. The dust samples are essentially 100% base saturated. X-ray diffraction data indicates a significant component of smectite (high-charge clays) associated with dominance of kaolinite clay in the dust samples. Clay contents of the dust range form 11 to 28%.
Vertisols in the Cameroon are clayey, cracking soils with physically restrictive compact subsoils. They have neutral to
slightly alkaline pH's and essentially base-saturated high charge (smectite) clay systems. Extractable phosphorous and trace elements, notably Zn, are deficient. Seasonal flooding and reduction are also restrictive management conditions. Without management systems to conserve water fertilizer amendments or profile modification, these soil resources appear poorly suited for reforestation purposes.
During the past four years, the PI has served in a backstopping role as a soil resource specialist with graduate students (Bill Payne,
Christope Zoango, Jim Gardner, John Wendt, Larry West and Jonathon Landeck) and INRAN scientists, Ouattara and Annou. Training was provided to demonstrate the importance of profile morphological, physical and chemical properties to design, data collection and interpretation of soil water/fertility research results. Soils were examined in pits, described, sampled, and classified according to Soil Taxonomy and the FCC System.
Mr. Bernard Yerima, from the Cameroon, has completed defense of his Ph. D. dissertation entitled "Soil Genesis, Phosphorous and Micronutrient Status of Selected Vertisols and Associated Alfisols of North Cameroon" and will graduate in August, 1986. Ms. Elisabeth Bui has drafted a copy of her Ph.D. dissertation entitled "Relationships between Stratigraphy, Geomorphology and Pedology in the Dallol Bosso, Niger (West Africa)" and will complete her degree by September 31, 1986. Both students were supported under the auspices of this project.
36




Future Plans:
Following are plans projected for the next year under this project:
I. Dust trap monitoring will be continued at the present two
locations -- Chikal and Sadore', and the addition of two more sites will be considered. Plans will be made to collect dry dust from specific storm events to contrast with total wet and dry dust infall. After the ist years data have been
analyzed, a decision will be made concerning the need to continue with collection at both 3.5- and 7.5-m levels and at four sampling periods. At this same time, a determination will be made relative to using different trap designs (i.e., the vane trap used at the ARS Wind Erosion Laboratory, Big Spring, TX). This effort should be continued for 3 to 5 years based on present probable significance to soil
water/fertility interactions.
2. Work will be initiated on a land evaluation model to
integrate soil, climate and plant interactions for millet and sorghum. The model will be specifically adapted to the semi-arid tropics and closely linked to geomorphology/ topography/land use relationships. It will be adapted from the FAO Framework for Land Evaluation and the Sanchez-CoutoBoul Fertilizer Capability System using Soil Taxonomy as the basis for model development. Available P, soil acidity,
water capture and storage, and climatic factors appear to be the major constraints to millet and sorghum production in this region. Thus, parameters that would be important to this model would include, among others, rainfall and growing season probabilities, soil texture, effective soil depth, CEC, pH, exchangeable Al, available P, soil crusting, wind and water erosivity, and topographic position. The model would be applied at selected collaborator research and extension centers in Mali, Niger and possibly the Cameroon.
Ms. Anne Pfordresher, M.S. student, will provide leadership to this project in collaboration with Dr. Persaud, Dr. Manu,
Mr. Ouattara and Ruben Puentes.
3. At three to four locations in the Dallol Bosso, permanent
access tubes will be installed to monitor seasonal watertable fluctuations and impact on water quality. Sites would be chosen in paired dunal terraces and adjacent channels. At least one of the channel sites would be associated with soils under the influence of salt accumulation. This work would be
in concert with Dr. Manu, Soils Laboratory, INRAN.
4. The PI will continue to serve the project in a backstopping
role. He will provide soil resource counsel and training to graduate students including Jessica Davis Rainey and Mamadou Doumbia and collaborating scientists. He will also work with
Mr. Bernard Yerima in program expansion into the Cameroon.
37




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: A.11
Title: Surface crusts under semiarid environments.
Objective:
Elucidate and model surface soil sealing and crust formation processes under semiarid environments.
Applicability:
Sealing of surface layers and thin superficial crusts, that form in coarse and moderately coarse-textured soils, are deterrents to water infiltration and recharge in many soils of the semiarid tropics. Their presence enhances surface runoff, erosion and desertification.
occurrence of crusting conditions and their detrimental effect appear to be most pronounced on thin soils of coarse or moderately-coarse texture occupying plateaus or valley segments where erosion has been pronounced. In
both situations it results in enhanced desertification and decreased biomass production.
Information gained may well have applicability to other regions of the world with crusting problems. Comparative studies with crusting soils of Texas with Niger conditions will permit evaluation and verification of generalized or specific mechanisms.
Project Leader: Frank Calhoun (Texas A&M University) Collaborators: J. Dixon (TAMU)
H. Shadfan (TAMU) D.C. Golden (TAMU) E. Bui (TAMU)
Research Site: College Station
Achievements and relevance:
From experiments employing soils samples from Niger and Texas, it was found that the strength of surface crusts formed was much higher in Texas soils, and that the hardening process in the two sets of samples may be controlled by different factors. It was also found that the microrelief of 0) the soil surface has a significant impact on crusting: sand and silt crusts are formed in sloping areas where clay crusts are formed in lower, flat areas.
Future plans:
This project has been suspended.
38




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number : ..
Title: Tillage practices to control sandblasting and improve water use.
Objective:
To increase crop yield by improving the status of soil water and controlling seedling sandblasting and burial using selected tillage treatments.
Applicability:
Water is a primary constraint in rainfed agricultural production systems. Conservation efforts in such areas should be aimed at increasing infiltration and decreasing evaporation. The common methods of increasing infiltration is through tillage. Techniques such as plowing immediately after rainfall to prevent crust formation and subsoiling and furrow diking to prevent runoff are commonly practiced. Such practices, where appropriate, need to be accelerated in the Sahel.
Early crop establishment on sandy soils is an important goal to farmers and has been shown to be effective in increasing yield. Violent winds which precede early-season rainstorms cause extensive damage to young millet
seedlings.
The "sandfighter," used in a similar environment in west Texas, was readily accepted by the ICRISAT scientss to stablize the soils before planting at the ISC. It was also observed that, in sandfighted fields, weed populations were reduced and rainfall redistribution (runoff) was improved as compared with controls.
However, for the Sahelian farmers to benefit from the research, the tool must be adapted to animal traction. Required modifications were
developed from 1983-85. From the positive effects seen at ISC, USAID
personnel associated with Niger's National Extension Service have expressed interest in testing a modified sandfighter on Niger's extension farms.
Prpject Leader: Robert Chase (Texas A&M University)
Research Site: Niger
Achievements and relevance:
The tractor drawn sandfighter was seen to be successful in stabilizing the sandy soils at the ICRISAT S.C. and at the INRAN's Kolo Station.
These tests confirmed that the sandfighter is as effective at low
(animal traction) speeds as at intermediate speeds. High working speeds, needed in Texas soils, were less effective.
39




It was also observed that the sandfought fields had a higher infiltration rate than adjacent fields. While no standing water was seen in the previously sandfought field, surface runoff was observed in the control. The importance of these effects in Sahelian "dune soils" has not yet been evaluated but the consequences of surface crusting and runoff in slightly siltier soils, frequently found in other parts of the Sahel, is well known.
Passage of the sandfighter caused considerable damage to millet crops when pulled over the plants. Unlike its use in cotton (in Texas) for millet it must be designed as on interrow tool and be used at the same time as planting, as soon after a rainfall as possible. However competition for
labor between planting and sandfighting at this critical period would preclude the use of this tool at the time when it would do its best in
protecting germinating millet seedlings.
A new prototype of "animal-drawn sandfighter" was developed with removable planting tynes. While making holes for proper seed and fertilizer placement, the machine stabilizes the surface between rows. It was tested with the aid of ILCA researchers. Results indicate that this model can stbllize one half hectare per hour while eliminating the need for the local planting tool and speeding up the planting process. Its use could, therefore, help to relieve the labor bottleneck in the planting season.
Future plans:
This project has been completed.
40




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: B.2
Title: Rainfall management to increase crop yields.
Objective:
Improve management of rainfall to enhance infiltration/rainfall and ET/infiltration ratios.
Applicability:
Seeds are often sown in dry soil. If rainfall less than the 15-20 mm required for germination is received, the stands are spotty and replanting is necessary. If a series of sloping ridges impervious to water could be created to shed water into adjacent untreated strips of soil, the problem might be alleviated and the stands and yields stabilized.
In many parts of Niger, the landscape is characterized by elevated hardened laterite surfaces adjacent to lower areas of colluvium and alluium which are cultivated in sorghum and millet. During rains, the water rushes from the impervious laterite areas into the valleys below causing severe gullying and sedimentation problems in small dams for irrigation. If the water could be spread or impounded and allowed to infiltrate in the valleys, the potential exists to increase sorghum and millet production by overcoming the erratic rainfall. At the same time sedimentation and erosion problems would be alleviated. Project Leader: Naraine Persaud(eaAMUnvriy Collaborators: Christophe Zaongo (Texas A&M University)
Research Site: Niger
Achievements and relevance:
Millet and sorghum response to a contour strip method of water harvesting (CSWH) was tested. Results have shown large increases in yield due to the effect of CSWH techniques. Seedling survival and more efficient water storage and water use can be achieved.
Future plans:
Results from the CSWH experiment will be processed and field work will )~ be continued to completion.
A new experiment will be initiated. The principle of water harvesting at the farm fi eld level, which supported the CSWH experiment, will be applied at the small watershed level. Extensive impervious laterite plateaus will be evaluated as water harvesting areas for intensive agriculture into small watersheds below. Studies will be initiated for the quantification of surface hydrology of these watersheds using data iro
simulated rainfai
41




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: B.3
Title: Rejuvenation of crusted forest soils.
Objective:
Rejuvenate crusted forest soils by selected mulch and tillage treatments.
Applicability:
A cooperative research project was begun in April, 1983, between AID/Niger mission-funded Forest Land Use Project (FLUP), INRAN and TROPSOILS to study methods of halting and reversing desertification in the Guesselbodi Forest.
Crusted soil surfaces mulched with tree branches had considerable termite activity and residual surface deposits of leaves and sand trapped by the mulch. The mulch treatment thus affords the potential of becoming an economical method of rejuvenating forest in the Sahel. Studies need to be continued for a period of time to determine the long term effects on the vegetation and on the soil physical and chemical characteristics.
Although tree branches, which comprise one half of the weight of trees harvested in the Sahel, are a waste product in commercial firewood harvesting, they are still in limited supply. Optimal methods for the use of this resource must be defined if they continue to appear useful in the rejuvenation of Sahelian forests. Proximity of mulched plots to a vegetated area, total area mulched, and mulch density appear to have important effects on plant establishment and production in these treated plots. These factors must be defined before an effective strategy for forest rejuvenation can be defined.
Project Leader: Robert Chase (Texas A&M University) Collaborators: Eric Boudouresque (Universite d' Orleans, Orleans, France)
John Heermans (Forest and Land Use and Planning Project)
Research site: Niger
Achievements and relevance:
a. Surface treatments
Tillage, mulches and tillage-mulch treatments were tested. Results indicate that tillage is not as effective in the regeneration of degraded, barren forest soils, as is mulching with tree branches. This is a relevant finding because the use of branches, a waste product of commercial firewood harvesting, may be feasible.
42




Wind and rainstorms play an important role in the rejuvenation process because they wash and/or blow sand, leaves and seeds into the plots. The branch mulch stabilizes these transported materials and the result is a favorable environment to plant establishment. Termite activity is also important, opening stable macropors in the crusted soil.
b. Runoff control
As a part of a demonstration work with FLUP, several water harvesting structures were tested. Contour rock dikes, banquettes and diggetts were constructed. Some of these methods have been used in traditional agriculture in other parts of Africa, although on very different soils. Vegetation was established at the sites for the first time in many years. The water front in the treated area extended to an average depth of 145 cm while in the untreated area, which remained barren, moisture penetrated to a depth of 45 cm. average.
Future plans:
This project will be continued by FLUP scientists and a German graduate student. It will include a larger water-harvesting experiment in the Maggia Valley, in collaboration with CARE and INRAN.
43




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: B.4 (Includes projects A.3 and B.4 from previous reports).
Title:
Causes and control of pronounced plant growth variability over short
distances.
Objectives:
1. Characterization of spatial variability of crops and soil
properties using geostatistical methods.
2. Optimization of sampling techniques.
3. Correction of crop growth variability and yield loss upon
findings on sources of variability.
Applicability:
A serious obstacle to evaluate data obtained from research plots in Niger is the variability, e.g. large coefficients of variation of measured parameters.
Optimizing soil sampling (collecting representative data with a minimum of samples) is the goal of all soil scientists. This is particularly important in Africa where laboratory facilities are poor or distant and transportation is difficult and expensive. High frequency sampling can be analysed using geostatistical methods to determine the optimum distance
between soil samples in the field which was sampled.
Results from highly variable fields and those with lower variability will give scientists a basis for their sampling program. In addition, this data represents a baseline with which to compare the results of interventions made in an attempt to decrease soil variability in sampled fields.
Project Leader: Lloyd Hossner (Texas A&M University)
(Robert Chase*)
Collaborators: Leslie Fussell (ICRISAT)
Mamadou Issaka (INRAN)
Michael Klaij (Wageningen Tillage Lab)
Eugene Perrier (ICARDA)
Mamadou Doumbia (TAMU)
Research Site: Niger & Mali
(* up to 12/1986)
44




Achievements and relevance:
At ICRISAT, TROPSOILS' research has identified three soil properties, i.e. pH, Al saturation and surface crust, which are highly correlated with poor crop growth, causing high variability in research fields. Mn levels may be an additional factor. Methods must be found to test these small and scattered pockets of soil to decrease variability in research lots and increase farmer's yield. With Y bjective, research is being conducted, both in Niger and Mali. -2
Future plans:
Solution of the spatial variability problem could greatly enhance millet and sorghum production in the Sahel. Experiments designed toward the correction of spatial variability will continue. Data collected to date indicate that the major source of variability in those fields studied is exchangeable Aluminum. Soils are sandy and have a low effective cation exchange capacity. The most effective methods to neutralize exchangeable Aluminum in these soils is low levels of lime applied in association with phosphate and gypsum. The soils are sandy and only slightly buffered.
Field studies are being conducted at two locations in Niger and one location Mali to evaluate phosphate and lime application to correct soil acidity problems and eliminate spatial variability. A number of acid tolerant sorghum lines are being tested this summer in Mali.
45




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number B. 5
Title:
Evaluation and/or development of low to intermediate input soil, water, or crop management practices to increase and/or stabilize yields of rainfed crops.
Objective:
Maximize efficient use of water through manipulation of soil and crop.
Applicability:
It is estimated that millet and sorghum require approximately 300 mm of available soil moisture to reach maturity. Short-term drought stress during the growing season is frequent and can lower yields or result in
total crop failure. Practices such as bare fallow, residue management, biomass control, minimum tillage, response farming, etc. can be used to enhance rain-use efficiency and crop yields.
Project Leader: Naraine Persaud (Texas A&M University) Collaborators : M. Ouattara (INRAN)
M. Gandah (INRAN)
Research Site: Niger
Relevance:
The development, adaptation and evaluation of soil, water and crop management practices has been identified as the main goal of the TROPSOILS
- SAT program.
Information about the response of millet and other crops to different soil moisture deficits and o man agement practices (cropping sequence, f I IIll n, tilage, ti removal, etc.) is essential toward this
goal. The need exists to understand the effects of these practices on soil-moisture storage, soil-moisture use pattern by the crop, sol-m"0loss patterns, fertilizer-use efficiency, etc., so that they can be adapted to increasing or stablizing rainfed crop yields.
Accomplishment:
Up to now, only the biomass control experiment (tiller removal) has produced preliminary results. Other experiments have been recently initiated.
During the growth cycle of millet plants many tillers are produced, the mean number depending on the particular genotype. It seems that the
traditional local varieties in Niger have been selected for high tillering capacity, probably because: 1. the millet residues are used for housing,
46




village industry and the animal feed at the end of the season, 2. the semi-erect leaves function as rainfall harvesting surfaces, 3. the tillers provide additional surface for photosynthesis thus compensating for the short growing period. Whether these rationalizations are factual or not can only be decided by future investigation; however it seems safe to assume that the tillers, only a small percentage of which produce fertile heads, play an important part in the growth, development and yield
of millet grown in the special agroecological conditions of Niger.
From a soil-water conservation viewpoint the tillers transpire water
and if not productive, they widen the ratio of water used per unit grain
yield. Through this experiment we are:
1. Studying the effect of tiller removal on the growth and yield of
several millet varieties under different soil-water conditions and
levels of fertilizer application.
2. Investigating the effect of tiller removal on soil-moisture use
efficiency.
3. Looking for varietal differences and interactions with soil moisture
content and fertilizer levels.
The results of this experiment will indicate whether tiller removal
has a potential as a low-input technique for soil-water management. if proven successful it will increase the resiliency of the millet grower by helping him to tailor his crop biomass to the varying local rainfall pattern. The yilmaalobstiizd and in addition, the tillers
removed may be used as animal fodder.
2 Two experiments were conducted: one under irrigation by sprinklers
during February to May of 1985 and one under rainfed conditions during July to September of 1985. The yield results show a positive increase in
yil ne ane conditions due to tiller removal and indicate tha
these studies should be extended.
It must be emphasized that it is too early to make any statements on
the usefulness or practicability of this technique. Much more experimentation is needed to understand the mechanism involved, to establish
its usefulness, and its extension to farmer's fields.
Future plans:
Studies on tiller removal will be continued up to completion. Two new
experiments have been initiated:
a. Influence of cropping sequence in a 2-year rotation on soil
moisture status, growth and yield of millet and cowpea on the sandy
soils of Niger.
b. Response of pearl millet to soil moisture deficit in different
agroclimatological zones of Niger.
47




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: B.7
Title: Modification of agroclimate and crop phenology between rows of
neem tree windbreaks.
Objective:
Determine if and how cereal growth and yield are modified when alley cropped between neem-tree windbreak rows.
Applicability:
The CARE Maggia Valley shelterbelt/windbreak plantings of Neem trees provide an opportunity for studying the role of shelterbelts and windbreaks in Niger for improving crop growth and yield of millet. There appears to be an increasing interest to extend these plantings. Motivation may be due mainly to a perceived increase in comfort and protection for themselves, their dwellings, and animals as a result of being shielded from high winds and dust rather than a perception of the possible effect of the trees in moisture conservation, crop growth, and yields.
Careful studies are needed to understand the effects of the present windbreak rows on the physical environment of the crop and to relate these effects to crop growth and yield. Such studies will provide a rational
basis for further plantings and; thus, optimize benefits from expended time, money, effort, and land removed from production.
Project Leader: Naraine Persaud (Texas A&M University) Collaborators: Steve Long (CARE)
Mamadou Ouattara (INRAN)
Research Site: Niger
Achievements and relevance:
Tree windbreaks, by modifying the influence of hot, dry, dessicating winds in Niger serve as a semi-permanent method for soil-water conservation and for ameliorating wind erosion. The trees if harvested rationally can provide much-needed fuel wood without seriously impairing their wind
protective efficiency.
This project has not been completed yet. Only preliminary results are available. Results will reveal the usefulness, if any, of mhe trees In ierm of their modification of the physical environment and crop growth. Such information is indispensable in planning layout of future plantings and subsequent management of these plantings.
48




Preliminary results have shown that yields depend on distance from tree
k rows. Overall yields between the tree rows were higher than outside
although difference was not statistically significant. Partial pollarding has proved to be the best harvest method, with the lowest loss of
efficiency.
Future plans:
7 Studies will continue up to completion.
49




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: B.9
Title: Rooting pattern studies on millet and cowpeas.
Objective:
Increase crop utilization of soil water by changing rooting patterns through placement of appropriate rates of applied plant nutrients.
Applicability:
Certain varieties of millet work well when intercropped with certain varieties of cowpea, the common Sahelian intercropping system, while other varieties do not. This is undoubtedly due to competition between the roots of the plants for water and/or nutrients. Exactly how this happens and, in fact, general root pattern of these crops within an intercropping system are not well understood. It would be of great benefit to plant breeders and
agronomists if these root patterns could be described and plant competition mechanisms better understood.
Project Leader: Lloyd Hossner (Texas A&M University) Collaborators: Jessica Davis (Texas A&M University)
Andrew Manu (INRAN-TAMU)
Naraine Persaud (Texas A&M University)
Research Site: Niger
Achievements and relevance:
This project will be initiated in 1986's growing season.
Future plans:
Studies will be initiated to predict which crops and varieties would make a good intercrop in a particular environment based on rooting patterns and responses to the variables which affect root growth. The study will
evaluate root distribution of at least three varieties of millet and cowpea and to correlate horizontal and vertical root distribution to soil physical and chemical properties. Soil properties will include temperature,
moisture, strength, aluminum, calcium, phosphorus and pH. Measurements will be made using meter square root-trench profiles on 10 cm x 10 cm grid.
50




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project No.: B.II
Title: Water use efficiency and soil fertility relationships.
Objectives:
1. Enhance water use efficiency of crops with applied plant nutrients and
cultivar selection.
2. Improve soil physical and chemical properties through use of
fertilizers and soil amendments.
Applicability:
The reactions of nutrient within these soils under the extreme temperature regimes experienced in the Sahel is unknown. A procedure for obtaining dissolution rate constants has been developed and the rate constants correlated with sorghum response to fertilizer phosphorus. The use of dissolution rate constants offers a method of studying phosphorus reactions in soils as they relate to plant responses and can be applied to optimizing phosphorus-use and water-use efficiency in soils.
Project Leader: Arthur Onken (Texas Agric. Exp. St.) Collaborators: Charles Wendt (Texas Agric. Exp. St.)
Research Sites: Mali and Lubbock, Texas
Accomplishments and relevance:
Research has shown that nutrient deficiencies under rainfed conditions results in poor utilization of available water in both the African Sahel and Texas High Plains. It has been shown that five-fold increases in forage production can result from proper N and P fertilization. Water use efficiencies (biomass/ET) have been increased 8% under dryland conditions at Lubbock, Texas with proper fertilizer practices. While research tends to indicate that biomass/unit of water transpired changes only in cases of severe nutrient deficiencies, research is lacking concerning plant nutrition requirements necessary to obtain maximum dry matter production per unit of water when water is limiting. It is well recognized that nutrient deficiencies (particularly N and P) greatly inhibit crop production in Sahelian Africa. Further, information is lacking relative to fertility level-water level interactions and the role newly identified nutrient use efficient cultivars might play in water use efficiencies.
Studies in greenhouse pots (12 L), minilysimeters (75 L) in rainout
shelters and rainfed field plots were conducted to determine the effects of available water and soil fertility on water use efficiency (WUE) of sorghums differing in nutrient use efficiencies and fertilizer response. Grain sorghum cultivars identified, in previous research at Lubbock, as differing in grain production per unit of available N under low N availability (nitrogen use efficiency, NUE), responsiveness to applied N (SC325, SC630, R6956, and 77CSI) and under low P availability (MB9-41, TX2536, SC167 and SC175) were utilized for these studies.
51




Results from pot and lysimeter studies wherein evaporation was suppressed have shown consistant differences between lines in WUE as defined by dry matter produced per unit of water transpired. WUE was also influenced by water and fertility levels and their interactions. For example, when grown in N deficient soil under limited water conditions SC630 and SC325 had higher WUE's than 77CS1. However, under adequate water 77CS1 had a higher WUE than SC630 and SC325. Under P and water deficient conditions MB9-41 and SC167 used less water per gram of dry tissue than TX2536. No significant differences were found between these genotypes when adequate water was available. In studies involving genotype, water levels and N levels, the data indicated that N rate, genotype, water level, and the interactions of genotype x N rate, water x genotype, and water x genotype x N rate had significant effects on WUE. Increasing N rates increased WUE. The three way interaction was apparently due to the lack of response of 77CS1 to increasing N rates.
Data from field studies show significant differences between genotypes in grain produced per inch of water (water requirement, WR) used under low and high fertility. A highly significant (R2 = 0.90) positive linear relationship was found between grain yield and WR. Thus, factors affecting WR will affect yields. An interaction between genotype and fertility level on WR was found in the field studies as in the pot and lysimeter studies resulting in the following conclusion. If fertilization is to be effective in improving WR, it must be applied to sorghum genotypes responsive to fertilizer applications. These results indicate important potential opportunities for increasing crop production in' the Sahel with limited capital.
Technology to use a hydraulic press for measuring leaf water potential in drought studies with sorghums was developed. The equipment and its use have been transferred to Mali and instructions in its use given to Malian technicians at the Cinzana Experiment Station to evaluate drought tolerance in sorghums.
Research to determine the effects of soil temperature on phosphorus
reactions in an Alfisol from the Cinzana Experiment Station are underway. The measurement being used (dissolution rate constant in EDTA) has been correlated to grain sorghum responses to fertilizer phosphorus applied to Texas High Plains Alfisols.
Future Plans:
The focus of this research is to determine the interactions between soil nutrient supply, available soil water, and sorghums of varying nutrient use efficiencies on water use efficiency and in understanding the mechanisms involved. Previous research under this project indicates their importance relative to increasing crop production where less than optimum rainfall and low soil fertility are primary constraints, as in the African Sahel.
Three field studies will be conducted. Two studies will be conducted on nutrient deficient soil under rainfed conditions. To define the interaction of fertility level and genotype under low available water on water requirement
(WR), sorghum genotypes of known differences in nitrogen use efficiency and N fertilizer response will be grown on N deficient soil with and without N fertilizer. Water use will be determined by neutron probe and WR calculated. A similar study will be conducted on a phosphorus deficient soil.
52




The third field study is designed to define the interaction between
available soil water and fertility on water requirement. A study composed of 3 water levels (rainfed, 50% of Et and 100% of ET) and 3 N levels (0, 20 and 80 lbs/a) in factorial combination will be conducted on a N deficient soil. Water use will be determined by neutron probe. Plant measurements will include, dry weight, leaf area and N content at head initiation, 50% bloom and black layer. In addition periodic measurements will be made of photosynthesis, leaf conductance and leaf water potential. A single sorghum hybrid will be used.
A minilysimeter study will be conducted in a rainout shelter to
investigate the three way interaction of available soil water x N fertility level x genotype. Two genotypes selected for differences in N and water level response will be planted to minilysimeters treated in factorial combination with 2 water levels and 3 N levels. Water use will be determined by weighing. Roots will be washed from the lysimeters at black layer following harvest of above soil material. Dry weights and N content will be determined on all plant material.
The study that has been started to determine the effects of temperature on phosphorus reactions in soil from Mali will be continued. Dissolution rate constants are being determined periodically in EDTA solution following application of monocalcium phosphate and a series of wetting and drying cycles.
Strengthening Grant funds have been obtained to determine the chemical characteristics of soils from the Cinzana Experiment Station in the Malian Sahel. These data will result in a greater understanding of Malian soils and aid substantially in TROPSOILS research planning.
It is obvious that available water and soil chemistry-fertility problems
on both cultivated and non-cultuvated soil are limiting agricultural production in the Sahel. These initial studies are directed at grain sorghum, however, should resources become available in the future, similar data will be obtained for other crops.
53




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project No.: B.13
Title: Increasing available soil water and crop yield through tillage and
f'ertiz-t ion.
Objective: Develop appropriate tillage and fertilizer techniques to increase
available soil water and crop yield under rainfed conditions.
Applicability:
Water is the major limiting factor in agricultural production in the semiarid areas of the world. In developed countries tillage techniques, engineering structures, and cropping systems have been developed to increase soil water storage and crop yields. Problems common to the semiarid areas of Africa and the United States include evaporation crusting, runoff and wind erosion. Mechanical and residue management techniques developed in Western Texas to decrease evaporation crusting, runoff and wind erosion can be modified and adapted to the Sahel.
In the Sahel, low soil pH and fertility as well as water are limiting factors in agricultural production. Previous research has shown that application of nutrients can result in five-fold increases in range grass growth in Mali. Chemical amendments and fertilizers will need to be applied judiciously in the Sahel due to the fragile nature of the soils.
Due to the cost of tillage and fertilizers in West Africa, studies are needed to determine what combinations are most economically feasible to increase crop yields.
Project Leader: Charles W. Wendt (Texas Agri. Exp. St.) Collaborators: Arthur B. Onken (Tex. Agric. Exp. St.)
Donald McCool ARS-USDA, Pullman, Washington.
Mamadou Simpara IER, Mali.
Research Sites: Mali and Lubbock, Texas
Accomplishments and Relevance:
TROPSOILS funds were transfered to Mali in the Summer of 1984. With a
portion of these funds, sites for both soil management and runoff studies were selected at Cinzana in 1985. The site selected by M. Simpara is a loam with a clay subsoil. The site is higher in nitrogen and phosphorus than the adjacent sandy soils. The pH ranges from 5-6. At the end of therainy season in 1984, a portion of the area was plowed. Infiltration determined with a ring infiltrometer was 100 mm/hr in the plowed soils, and 3 mm/hr in the unplowed soils. Tillage treatments were moldboardinq, ridging, and control. Sorghum yields on the moldboard and ridge-p-lo--ere 3000 kg/hr, while little sorghum grew on the untilled plots. The demonstration showed the impact of tillage and the need for tillage research. At the end of the 1985 cropping season tillage treatments were installed for an extensive tillage-fertility study in 1986. The study includes 3 fertility levels and four tillage practices with 4 replications of each treatment.
54




2
The overseas program is backstopped by research to augment the research in Mali. One area of research is concerned with the effect of fertilizer placement of phosphorus fertilizer on soil water extraction and crop yield. To date, there has been some increase in soil water extraction by phosphorus placed 45 cm deep but no increase in yield. This is not surprising because we have received timely rains during the past 2 years. Deep placement of phosphorus is apparently beneficial during dry years.
Strengthening Grant funds are being used to pursue other areas of research applicable to the Sahel. One area is Sllelopathy or the effect of residues of the preceeding crop on succeeding crops. This research has just been initiated. However, it does appear that sorghum residues inhibit the
gerinaionof orgumand other crop pecies. As rotation schemes are
developed for Africa, the knowledge of allelopathy will be very important.
A trip was made to Cinzana to locate a site for some runoff plots. A good site was located at Cinzana. Plans are to install the plots early in 1987. Treatments will include flat ridged and tied ridges; cropped and uncropped areas; mulched and clean tilled areas.
Future Plans:
There have been problems with funding, personnel changes and assignment of responsibilities in the Mali project. Hopefully, these have been resolved and an orderly evolving research program can be pursued.
The tillage-fertility program should be viewed as the first step in
adapting some of the technological concepts developed in the semiarid areas of West Texas to the semiarid areas of Mali. In addition to tillage, mulching and fertility studies breaking crusts mechanically should be evaluated. In the Cinzana area, there is an excess of residue which is often burned that could be used in the stubble mulch concept. The crusting causes low infiltration and runoff. Simple tools to break the crust immediately after rains could increase infiltration, soil water storage, and yield.
Attempts are being made in Mali to use engineering structure such as
terracing to prevent runoff. Problems exist in stabilizing the terraces on sandy soils. Research is needed to determine what grass species will stabilize the terraces.
Little information is available on the water balance and soil erosion as influenced by various surface treatments. Such information would be available from the planned runoff plots. Dr. McCool or his graduate student is planning to assist in the installation of the runoff plots. Information from these plots will aid in designing better cultural practices as well as provide much needed information on the water balance in the Sahel.
As indicated in the applicability statement, fertility and chemistry
problems can be severe in the Sahel. This project will be closely allied with the fertility-water interaction project under the direction of Dr. Onken to develop the best fertility response for the water available from a particular tillage practice. The project will also be coordinated with the mechanistic modeling effort of Dr. Lascano to facilitate technology transfer to the Sahel of West Africa.
55




PROJECT STATEMENT
Project Number: C.1
Title: Project Management
Objective:
Assistance to the Project Coordinator in the overall management of TROPSOILS -SAT program.
Applicability:
Due to the events previously discussed in Chapter 2 "Program evolution and current organization" (the depature of Dr. Frank Calhoun and budgetary problem during FY4, see 2.1E) the management office at College Station had to increase its dedication and efficiency in order to better assist Dr. E.C.A. Runge, who took care of the overall coordination, to avoid further problems with the budget and provide an adequate logistial support to all TROPSOILS SAT Project Leaders.
The following is a list of some of the activities which are conducted from this office:
a. Budgeting:
A general annual budget for the TROPSOILS SAT program is
prepared according with the guidelines provided by the P.C. and
funding availability arranged with the M.E.
b. Accounting:
Accounts (domestic and overseas) are set up for each Project
Leader. An "in-house" bookkeeping system is maintained. Monthly
expenditures are checked with budgets and any disagreement is
immediately communicated to the Project Leader. The "in-house"
accounting system is permanently checked with TAMRF's monthly
reports and any disagreement is discussed with TAMRF's personnel.
c. Expenditure approval:
All expenditures (equipment, supplies, travel, etc.) must go
through the Management Office for approval. Depending on the kind and amount of the requests, they are submitted either to the M.E.,
to the P.C. or are approved by the Program Manager.
d. Travel arrangements:
All travel authorization requests go through the Management
Office. International travel requests are submitted to the M.E.
for AID approval. Domestic travel is approved by the P.C. Most
travel arrangements (ticket purchase, hotel reservations, advance requests, etc.) are processed in this office. Usually round trip
tickets for overseas posted junior and senior scientists are
56




purchased at the U.S. and sent via PTA to Africa in order to
obtain lower rates and better connections.
e. Communications:
Special emphasis has been given to improve communications among
personnel posted in Africa, staff in College Station and Lubbock,
AID missions, the M.E., etc. Most of this activity is handled
from the Management Office via Telex or telephone.
f. Assistance to graduate students:
Considerable time is devoted to assist graduate students,
particularly while they are posted overseas. This includes
facilitation of communication with advisors in the U.S.,
registration "in absentia" to TAMU, insurances, billiographic
materials, assistance in shipping or storing personnel effects and
a wide variety of administrative matters.
g. Visitors and meetings:
This office handles most arrangements for TROPSOILS related
technical and administrative meetings and visitors coming to TAMU.
This includes travel and hotel arrangements, itineraries, agendas,
car rental, airport transportation, etc.
h. Reporting:
Periodic administrative and financial reports are prepared when
requested from the M.E., the P.C. or from TAES' authorities.
Technical reports are also prepared or edited with the assistance
of Project Leaders and the P.C.
i. Bibliographic services:
A small library is being organized at this office with emphasis on
semiarid agriculture and particularly, soil and water management.
TROPSOILS graduate students are the main users. Occasionally,
bibliographic material is requested by scientists posted overseas:
publications are photocopied from the main library and
immediatedly submitted to the requester. Some bibliographic lists
have been prepared by request from senior scientists, using the
computerized system available at TAMU's main library.
j. Computer services:
The initial Zenith Z-100 system has been updated with the purchase
of an IBM compatible Z-148. The Z-100 is now being used as a
telex terminal or for fast document transfer with Lubbock
Experimental Station. It is also always available as a
wordprocessor for graduate students and, as it is linked with
TAMU's mainframe, it can be used for statistical work. A software
library is being organized for the new Z-148, it includes
wordprocessor, spreadsheet (mainly used for program accounting),
57




data management, graphic and statistical packages and
miscellaneous utilities.
Project Leader: Ruben Puentes (Texas A&M University)
(Program Manager)
Collaborator: Gloria Northcutt (Texas A&M University)
(Part time TROPSOILS' Secretary)
Achievements and relevance:
Although this fiscal year will end in three months, it is apparent that the lack of adjustment between expenditures and budget has been controlled. All Project Leaders have expended within the possiblities of their budgets and in fact, some savings are expected in several accounts. This has been the main goal of this office for this year.
Future plans:
Budgeting, bookkeeping and reporting have been taking most of the time of the Program Manager. The hiring of a replacement for Dr. F. Calhoun's position might alleviate reporting activities and improve the quality of the reports produced.
If the proposed "Accounting Assistant" position for the Soil & Crop Sciences Department is not filled, the computarized, "in-house" bookkeeping system will be adjusted and our secretary be trained for his utilization. This will give the Program Manager some extra time to better assist the P.C. and to start developing more creative and useful activities.
58




T he Budge t




5 THE BUDGET
5.1 Summary of total expenditures up to date
Table 5.1 is a summary of total expenditures to date from information provided by TAMRF.
Table 5.1 Subgrantee Financial Report up to June 1986.
Category Total budget This period Cumulative expenditures amount (June/86) up to date Salaries S 758,290.86 S 12.593.7. S 753.16.27
Fringe Benefits 138,723.56 1,781.76 152,057.91
Allowances -0- -0- -0Overhead "46,084.24 ..,.1.zz 409.5.7.19
Transportation 224,928.00 5,376.27 328,049..6
Supplies and Equip. 887,421.85 894.89 400,664.56 Other Direct Costs 472,551.49 3,591.49 509,997.8.
Grand Total S2.919,000.00 S 28,679.37 Sz,553,.33.Z2
5.2 Balance for FY4
TROPSOILS SAT's budget for the fiscal period 84-85 (FY4) was $675,000. Total amount billed for the same period was $1,046,317.83. However, within this total for FY4 there are several bills which should have been paid from FY3 budget. From data supplied by TAMRF, this amount would reach $158,460.00. In consequence, actual expenditures for FY4 would be $887,857.83, and actual overexpenditure would total $212,857.83.
The following is a list of the most significant reasons which have been considered as determinants of this budgetary problem:
a. Inadequate fiscal information prior to and
immediately following the transfer of
responsibility for the SM-CRSP :from TAMU
international Programs to TAMRF.
b. Accounts and associated budgets had not been
broken down at the user level. This was an
important constraint under which each Project
Leader operated. They had little or no idea as to
funds they had available. At the same time, this made the task very difficult for the P.C. because
there was a long lag time in obtaining
60




reconciliation of the overseas accounts which
operated under a petty cash system. When
reconciliation was finally accomplished, a larger
amount had been spent than had been anticipated.
c. Some misunderstandings about the total budget
approved for the SAT program.
Five accounts were open for FY4 and three of them
were either "multi-user" or "multi-purpose".
00: for_olg_ tatioi. It was used by Dr.
Calhoun, Dr. Dixon and Dr. Wilding (research
activities) and to cover all expenditures from the Management Office, including Dr. Calhoun's
salary.
01: for Nig=e. It was used by both Dr. Chase and
Dr. Persaud including research activities plus
the budget of the Niamey office.
02: forubbock. (a) It was used by Dr. Wendt,
both for research expenditures (Lascano and
Wendt's projects) plus logistical and technical
backstopping for overseas activities.
03: (b) It was used by Dr. Onken
for research.
04: forMali. It was used only for research.
Table 5.2 and Fig. 5.1 show the totals per account and generalized categories. The breakdown of these expenditures by categories (Table 5.2 and Fig. 5.2) shows the significance of payroll in our budget: 35% of the total (or 42% of the total direct costs). Communications and shipping was another important item: 9% of the total (and 14% of the total direct costs for the Niger account). The "other" category looks high for the overseas' account
(01). The reason is that it included most of the expenses from TROPSOILS' office at Niamey.
61




Table 5.2
TROPSOILS' EXPENSES FOR FY4
-- -- -- -- -----=----==== =====-= =0 0 ERCETA =
9012-004 9012-003 9012-002 9012-000 9012-001 TOTAL PERCENTAGE
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------PAYROLL $4000.00 $20678.06 $65293.20 $118042.51# $162964. 45 $370978.22 35%
EQUIPMENT $346.35 $31795.58 $32141.93 3%
SUPLIES $2000.00 $10198.52 $9571.84 $14829.97 $83787.33 $120387.66 12%
TRAVEL $3000.00 $2926.81 $16171.12 $63462.01 $50066.67 $135626.61 13%
COMM/SIIPPING $480.00 $392.25 $4696.79 $9647.17 $75877.28 $91093.49 9%
LIVING ALLOW/EXP. $2665.53 $17462.73 $20128.26 2%
0111ER $320.83 $451.55 $5791.86 $100677.73* $107241.97 10%
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------IOTAL DIRECT COSTS $9480.00 $34862.82 $96184.50 $214439.05 $522631.77 $877598.14 84%
------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------INDIRECT COSTS $1138.00 $11156.08 $30779.00 $67346.35 $58300.26 $168719.69 16%
------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------TOTAL $10618.00 $46018.90 $126963.50 $281785.40 $580932.03 $1046317.83
PERCENTAGE 1% 4% 12% 27% 56%
Accounts: 9012-000 College Station Notes: # It includes "graduate assistanships"
9012-001 Niger for junior scientists.
9012-002 Luibbock/Vendt It includes Niamey Office expenses
9012-003 l.ubbock/Onken
9012-004 Mali




Figure 5.1
TROPSOILS SAT EXPENSES FY4
P Pr ee # l
S 1.60
E 20
E: Equipment #1: Niger
S: Supplies #2: Lubbock/Wendt
T: Travel #3: Lubbock/Onken
C: Communication & shipping #4:Mali L: Living allow. & expenditures 0: Other direct costs
Figure 5.2 TROPSOILS' EXPENSES FY4
fI
35
13
Ird 0
Epems e alor er 2Butsand acou
wer setol upCllg atteueSee o Y.Ttatudetwa
E:_ Eqipen i pi'ierb
$65,000pr for i ws pta so inT
Sevr a l modifica so ipint o ion and m
dividual budgets were also broken down on a monthly basis
for a better expenditure control.
63




Table 5.3 Original breakdown of the budget for FY5.
Account# Object Responsible Amount
005 Management office Calhoun 63,630
006 Logistical back up Wendt 31,000
007 Niamey office Chase 35,070
008 Soil physical research Wendt 51,000
(Lubbock)
009 Soil chemistry research Onken 24,000
(Lubbock)
010 Pedology research Wilding 34,000
011 Niger research I Chase 212,000
012 Niger research II Persaud 198,000
013 Mali research Wendt 40,300
TOTAL: 695,000
Slight modifications to this initial breakdown were needed during the operation of FY5: some minor budget
transfers and the split of the Mali account in overseas and domestic subaccounts (013 and 014) with their own budgets. The decisions to suspend the ICRISAT related research program in Niamey, to transfer Dr. R. Chase to a different program and to close the Niamey office (March, 1986) forced further adjustments in the budget.
Fig. 5.3 shows a comparison of the breakdown of the TROPSOILS' budgets for FY4 and FY5 by percentages per categories. The shrink in the budget was reflected in a significant shift in the structure of costs, with payroll participation increasing from 35% in FY4 to almost 67% in FY5. Living allowance (closely related with personnel) also increased; all other categories decreased their
participation. All decisions on expenditure control for FY5 were taken trying to avoid affecting personnel
commitments.
64




-P,40,4 (D.74 NPCO X x6~ 4 in
x
w4 46 63663 0
0 IDD EU)EFTTT _D
0 A IS) 1
c A A
or II P
:c -FI
4 ID 4-* 00(
~14
f0 (MR I.,.4~c l
loi 1+
* a a *




Fig. 5.4 shows both the budget and expenses for the first five months of FY5 (up to February/86, prior to the new assignment for Dr. Chase and closure of accounts 07 and 011). As it can be inferred from the comparison, the level of expenditures was in good agreement for the partial budget for this period and no major changes are expected the rest of the fiscal year.
5.4 Budget for FY6
The proposed budget for the SAT program for next fiscal year (FY6) is $425,000. This amount is not sufficient to maintain our current level of activities, which has been already decreased this year. Major adjustments would be needed and there exists a risk that important research projects might be affected. To solve this problem, the program has been trying to save some funds from the current fiscal year. These savings, combined with additional funds which have been already requested 'at the Board of Directors meeting at Atlanta totaled the $618,000 level which is considered the minimum needed for our program.
FY6 present budget $ 425,000
Carry forward from FY5 (estimated) 90,516
Additional funds requested 102,520
Total for FY6 $ 618,036
The following is a table showing the breakdown of these funds, by projects. You will note that several projects have been discontinued, and funding is requested for a selected, high priority list. Detailed budgets by projects are also attached.
If additional funds are obtained, they would be allocated to project A.6 (not considered in the previous list) and to the Cameroon program which is only partially funded through project A.8.
66




A. PROJECTS INCLUDED IN PROPOSED FY6 BUDGET.
Project # Title Total
Al IdP Quantification of rainfall patterns $ 52,686
and hydrology of representative cropped soils of Niger.
A8 2--) Soil resource evaluation in the $ 61,594 (*)
semiarid tropics.
B2 Rainfall management to increase $ 76,599
crop yields.
019Okit B4 Causes and control of pronounced $ 48,539
6' plant growth variability over
short distances.
B5 pIP Evaluation and/or development of S 88,372
low intermediate input soil, water or crop management practices to increase and/or stabilize yields of rainfed crops.
B7 Alp Modification of agroclimate and $ 32,343
crop phenology between rows of neem tree windbreaks.
B9 Rooting pattern studies in millet $ 40,895
and cowpeas.
Bil Water use efficiency and soil $ 42,173
fertility relationships.
Bi3 Increasing available soil water 3 63,095
and crop yield through tillage and fertilization.
C1 Project management $ 82,743
Contingency 3 29,000
Total $ 616,036
B. PROJECTS NOT-INCLUDED IN PROPOSED FY6 BUDGET
(*) Cameroon expansion in A8 Additonal funding needed
A2 Scaling soil hydralic Completed
properties
A4 Water and energy balance in Suspended
Sahelian soils
67a




A5 fokWd ater and energy balance in Completed
a bare soil
A6 Water and energy balance of Funding needed 67 5 44A1
crops with incomplete canopy
cover
All .urface crusts under semiarid Suspended
Environments
BI CC Tillage practices to control Completed
sandblasting and improve water
use
B3? Rejuvenation of crusted, Suspended
forest soils
67b




TROPSOILS
BUDGET WORKSHEET Quantification of rainfall patterns and
hydrology of representative cropped soils PROJECT NUMBER: Al of Niger.
DATE OF COVERAGE: October 1, 1986.- September 30, 1987 Research site: Niger
A. PERSONNEL Project Leader: Naraine Persaud
From CRSP Funds, dollars
Work Appointment Job Effort, Fringe Post
Name Citizen Location Date Classification Percent Salary Benefits Differential Allowances Overhead Total
Naraine Persaud Guyana Niger Current Project Leader 20% 10.416
William Payne U.S. C.S. Current Research-Assist.100%2 18.51
~2 '~8,512 8,512
OTn
Total (overhead included) $ 30.928
B. NON PERSONNEL
Equipment 928 Shipping 816
Supplies 2,688 Consulting --Travel, US /DON 1,008 Other Direct Cost 6.190
Travel, INT. 3,584 Overhead (included)
Communications 1,344
Printing 1,200 TOTAL $52,686




TROPSOILS
Water and energy balance of crops BUDGET WORKSHEET with an incomplete canopy cover.
PROJECT NUMBER: -A6 Research site: Lubbock and Niger or Mali
DATE OF COVERAGE: October 1. 1986 September 30, 1987 A. PERSONNEL Project Leader: R. Lascano
From CRSP Funds, dollars
Work Appointment Job Effort, fringe Post
Name Citizen Location Date Classification Percent Salary Benefits Differential Allowances Overhead Total
(to be recruited) Lubbock 10/01/86 Student Worker 50% 4.500 630 5. 130
.ummer/87 100% 2,500 350 2.850
summer/87 100 2,500 350 2.580
B. NON PERSONNEL
Equipment 1,500 Shipping NoTE: This project does not have
funding with the current
Supplies Consulting budget.
Travel, US 1,500 Other Direct Cost
Travel, INT. Overhead 4,190
Communications
Printing i,500 TOTAL $20,240
I a




TROPSOILS
BUDGET WORKSHEET Soil resource evaluation in the
semiarid tropics.
PROJECT NUMBER: A8
DATE OF COVERAGE: October 1, 1986 September 30, 1987 A. PERSONNEL Project 'Leader: Larry Wilding Research site: Niger. Maii and Cameroon
From CRSP Funds, dollars
Work Appointment Job Effort, fringe Post
Name Citizen Location Date Classification Percent Salary Benefits Differential Allowances Overhead Total
Anne Pfordresher U.S. C.S./Niger 10/01/86 Research Assist. 100 12,676
(to be recruited) C.S. ASAP Technician 50% 12,080
Bernard Yerima Cameroon Cameroon 10/01/86 Research Assist. I00. 20,000,(3)
Total (overhead included) $44,756
B. NON PERSONNEL
Equipment Shipping -------Supplies 72 77) Consulting -------Travel, US 660 Other Direct Cost 1,528 (2)
Travel, INT. 9,900 (1) Overhead (included)
Communications --------Printing 1.980 TOTAL $61.596
(1) It includes two trips to Africa; one for the P.L. (3) Partial funding, additional funds are
and one for a Junior scientist, required.
(2) Ic includes Laboratory facilities (SEM, plasma analysis, etc.).




IROPSOILS
BUDGET WORKSHEET Rainfall management to increase
crop yields.
PROJECT NUMBER: B2
DATE OF COVERAGE: October 1, 1986 September 30, 1987 A. PERSONNEL Project- Leader: Naraine Persaud Research site: Niger
From CRSP Funds, dollars
Work Appointment Job Effort, Pringe Post
Name Citizen Location Date Classification Percent Salary Benefits Differential Allowances Overhead Total
Naraine Persaud Guyana Niger current Project Leader 30% 15,624
Burkina C.S./
ChriSLophe Zaongo Faso Niger current Research Assist.100% 12,000
&.? 12,768 12,768
Total (overhead included) $ 40,392
B. NON PERSONNEL
Equipment 10,392 Shipping 1,224
supplies 4 ,597" Consulting
Travel, US/Dom. 1,512 Other Direct Cost 9,285
Travel, INT. 5,376 Overhead (included)
Communications 2,016
Printing 1.800 TOTAL 76, 594




TROPSOILS
BUDGET WORKSHEET Evaluation and/or development of low
to intermediate input soil, water or PROJECT NUMBER: __ _._ crop management practices to increase
and/or stabilize yields at rainfed crops. DATE OF COVERAGE: October 1, 1986 September 30, 1987
A. PERSONNEL Project Leader: Naraine Persaud Research site; NIGER
From CRSP Funds, dollars
Work Appointment Job Effort, tringe Post
Name Citizen Location Date Classification Percent Salary Benefits Differential Allowances Overhead Total
Naraine Persaud Guyana Niger current Proiect Leader 40% 20,832
17,024 17,024
Total (overhead included) $ 37,856
B. N1ON PERSONNEL
Equipment 13,856 Shipping 1,632
Supplies 8,376 Consulting
Travel, US/Dom 2,016 Other Direct Cost 12.380
Travel, INT. 7,168 Overhead (included)
Communications 2,688
Printing 2,400 TOTAL $ 88,372
.1''




TROPSOILS
BUDGET WORKSHEET
B.7 Modification of agroclimate and
PROJECT NUMBER: and crop phenology between rows
DATE OF COVERAGE: October 1, 1986 September 30, 1987 of neem tree windbreaks.
A. PERSONNEL Project Leader; Naraine Persaud Research site: NIGER
From CRSP Funds, dollars
Work Appointment Job Effort, Fringe Post
Name Citizen Location Date Classification Percent Salary Benefits Differential Allowances Overhead Tutal
Naraine Persaud Guyana Niger current Project Leader 10% 5,208
Steve Long U.S. Niger 09/01/86 Research Assist. 100% 12,000
4,256 4,256
Total (overhead included) 21.464
B. NON PERSONNEL
Equipment 2,464 Shipping 408
Supplies 1. 344" Consulting ----Travel, US /Dom 504 Other Direct Cost 3,095
Travel, INT. 1,792 Overhead (included)
Communications 672
Printing 600 TOTAL $ 32,343
* q "




TROPSO ILS
BUDGET WORKSHEET
Rooting patterns studies
PROJECT NUMBER: B.9 in millet and cowpeas.
DATE OF COVERAGE: October 1. 1986 September 30, 1987 Research site: NIGER
A. PERSONNEL Project Leader: Lloyd Hossner
From CRSP Funds, dollars
Work Appointment Job Effort, trlnge Post
Name Citizen Location Date Classification Percent Salary Benefits Differential Allowances Overhead Total
Jessica Davis U.S. Niger current Reserach Assis. 100Z 12,000
4,435
Total (overhead included) $ 16,435
B. ilON PERSONNEL
Equipment 5,420 Shipping 1,300
Supplies 4, 230, Consulting -_-_-_- _-_-_Travel. US /Dor 4.480 Other Direct Cost 4.,800
Travel, INT. 2 .580 Overhead (included)
Communications 650
Printing 1,000 TOTAL $ 40,895
,




TROPSOILS
BUDGET WORKSHEET Water use efficiency and
soil fertility relationships
PROJECT NUMBER: B.li
DATE OF COVERAGE: October 1, 1986 September 30, 1987 Research site: HALE and Lubbock
A. PERSONNEL Proje'ct Leader: Art Onken
From CRSP Funds, dollars
Work Appointment Job Effort, rrlnge Post
Name Citizen Location Date Classification Percent Salary Benefits Differential Allowances Overhead Total
(to be recruited) Lubbock 10/01/86 Research Assoc. 50% 18,004
Norman Piwonka U.S. Lubbock current Technician 50% 11,457
Total (overhead included) $ 29,461
B. NON PERSONNEL
Equipment Shipping -------Supplies 3,oo Consulting
Travel, US 1,980 Other Direct Cost 960
Travel, INT. 5.280 Overhead (included)
Communications 792
Printing 700 TOTAL $ 42,173
A '.0C




TROPSOILS
BUDGET WORKSHEET Increasing available soil water and
PROJECT NUMBER: B.13 crop yield through tillage and
fertilization.
DATE OF COVERAGE: October 1, 1986 September 30, 1987 Research site: MALI and Lubbock
A. PERSONNEL Pro'ject Leader: Chrles Wendt
From CRSP Funds, dollars
Work Appointment Job Effort, trrnge Post
Name Citizen Location Date Classification Percent Salary Benefits Differential Allowances Overhead Total
(to be recruited) Lubbock 10/01/86 Research Assoc. 50% 18.004
Norman Piwonka U.S. Lubbock current Technician 50% 11,457
_.Qcai staff Mali Mali current Tech. labor 100% 5,000
Toral (overhead included) 3 34,461
8. hON PERSONNEL
Equipment Shipping ,000
Supplies 7,350 Consulting ------Travel, US 2.640 Other Direct Cost 5,200 (1)
Travel, INT. 8.280 Overhead (included)
Communications ?.184
Printing 1,980 TOTAL $ 63,095 (2)
(1) It includes training for local scientists.
(2) $ 16,570 from this total will be delivered to and administrated by
local scientists (I.R.E.)




TROPSOILS
BUDGET WORKSHEET
Causes and control oi pronounced PROJECT NUMBER: B. 4 plant growth variability over
short distances.
DAFE OF COVERAGE: October 1. 1986 September 30, 1987 Research site: NIGER and MALI A. PERSONNEL Project Leader; Lloyd Hossner From CRSP Funds, dollars
Work Appointment Job Effort. Fringe Post
Name Citizen Location Date Classification Percent Salary Benefits Differential Allowances Overhead rota
James Gardiner U.5. Niger current Research Assist. 100% 10,864
Mamadou Dbumbla Mali Mali current Research Assist. 100Z 10,864
3 .500 3, 500
Total (overhead included) $
8. H'ON PERSONNEL
Equipment 5, 50 Shipping 1,645
Supplies "';860 Consulting ------Travel, US/Iom 2. 056 Other Direct Cost o ( I )
Travel, INT. 5,280 Overhead (included)
Communications 880
Printing 1,000 TOTAL $ 48,539
(1) It includes laboratory support and data processing




TROPSO I LS
BUDGET WORKSHEET
Project Management
PROJECT NUMBER: .___Proer___anageen
DATE OF COVERAGE: October 1, 1986- September 30, 1987 (College Starion)
I A. PERSONNEL Project Leader: E.C.A. Runge From CRSP Funds, dollars
Work Appointment Job Effort, Fringe Post
Name Citizen Location Date Classification Percent Salary Benefits Differential Allowances Overhead Total
(to be recruited) C. S. ASAP P.C. 40Z 326
Ruben Puences Uruguay C.St. current Program Manager IOZ 28,644
Gloria Northcut U.S. C.St. current Secretary 100% 9,821
-4
00
Total (overhead included) $ 63,791
B. NON PERSONNEL
Equipment 1,320 Shipping
Supplies 3,752 Consulting -------Travel, US 1,000 Other Direct Cost 1,0
Travel, INT. 5,280 (1) Overhead (included)
Comunicatlons 6,600
1 Printing TOTAL $ 82,743
(I) For the P.C.
4




Future Di'rections




5. FUTURE DIRECTIONS
5.1 Historical perspective
The current status of development of science and technology in food production in semiarid tropical Africa, and particularly the Sahel, can be partially explained by reviewing what targets have been pursued by agricultural research in these regions. There is no risk in generalizing that, from the beginning of the colonial period until the decade of 1920's, agricultural growth was based on exploiting African natural resources. Since then, the shift toward a science base approach, with the establishment of several research institutions (i.e., the Empire Cotton Growing Corporation, throughout Brittish colonies), was mainly focused toward export crops, such as cotton, oil palm, etc. Research on food crops was almost non-existent. Natural resource conservation also received very low consideration. Agricultural research in countries without export commodities was minimal: there were 714 American and Canadian Doctoral dissertations and M.Sc. theses for Nigeria over the period 1886-1974; for the same period, only 4 have been reported for Niger 12/. No major changes occurred up to the 1950's with the establishment of regional research stations in common agroecological zones (i.e., the West African Rice Research Station, at Sierra Leona). Many of the regional research stations were nationalized and
incorporated into national research systems after independence, during the 1960's. This marked the beginning of a slow shift toward food crops. This trend was accelerated with the
establishment of a network of International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs): IITA, in Nigeria, in 1967; ILCA in Ethiopia, in 1973. In 1975 ICRISAT started a cooperative program in Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), and in 1981 it was decided to start a second center for the Sahelian zone in Niger.
Research efforts toward food crops, mainly sorghum and millet, are not only recent but are strongly focused on breeding programs. With these cereals, major problems have been encountered in most of the attempts for importing high-yielding varieties and hybrids from other continents. Soil-related
problems have frequently been identified as limiting plant growth and production.
Some "improved" technologies have been developed. However, many of them, which have been proven effective in increasing yields and yield stability at the research station level, have never been adopted by farmers. Usually, they include management practices which are not consistent with farmers' goals or with their concept about optimal soil and crop management under
12/ Sims M. and A. Kagan (1976). American and Canadian Doctoral Dissertations and Master's Theses on Africa, 1886-1974.
Walthman, Massachusetts, African Studies Association.
79




.conditions of environmental uncertainty found in the Sahel.
Indigenous knowledge and traditional technologies have usually been neglected. Interest in the value of traditional farming systems by social and technical scientists is also very recent
13/.
5.2 The goal of the SM-CRSP in semi arid Africa.
7 TROPSOILS inception in this region has been very timely. It
began its operations into an evolving international agricultural research system as a new and needed component. The significance played by the soil-water-fertility component for the development of appropriate crop management technologies has been fuy recognized by national and regional agricultural insti es.
Extended periods of drought, which are recurrent in the Sahel, have accentuated the need for assistance in this area of expertise. Texas A&M University, with the tremendous capability of its resource base including its professional expertise,
research facilities and administrative support structure, and with similarities in agroecological conditions, is in an optimal position to provide leadership. The modus operandi of the CRSP, promoting a collaborative and interactive approach with Host Country institutions, other U.S. bilateral assistance programs and international centers provides the structure for this
contribution to alleviate the food problems of the region.
Budget constraints at this time do not allow TROPSOILS-SAT
to develop a fully comprehensive program on soil-water-fertility interactions. Priority areas have been recognized and the limited funds available have been allocated to develop a
research program focused toward the solution of the most
critical agronomic problems which are hampering the development
of appropiate technology packages.
Within this framework, our efforts will be focused on the
following goals:
1. To consolidate the program in Niger as our primary research
site.
Niger, as one of the less developed nations in the Sahel,
is a challenge for TROPSOILS-SAT efforts. The difficulties of doing research in a country where logistical and technical support is minimal must be fully recognized when evaluating the program. Our efforts in institution-building activities must be given egual value to those toward t-hnology generation. A major
----------------------------- ------ ----------------13/ Brokensha D. W., D. M. Warren and 0. Werner (eds) (1980).
Indigenous knowledge systems and development. Univ. Press of
America; Landham, Maryland.
80




lesson to be learned is that long term investments are necessary to develop effective research programs in the Sahel, and that the collaborative approach which characterizes the CRSP initiative is the most effective.
2. To expand the area of activities to other countries in the region.
It has been determined that the TROPSOILS-SAT effort will be more effective if collaborative programs with other Sahelian countries are initiated rather than to increase our level of activity in Niger. Our current involvement in Niger seems to be appropiate relative to the capability that local institutions have to assimilate our potential inputs. The development of secondary research sites has additional advantages. Some
country-specific problems may impede or deviate the focus on the real problems of the region. In addition, a wider range in
agroecological conditions can be covered.
Mali and Cameroon have been selected as target countries for increased future involvement. These are not unknown countries for the TROPSOILS-SAT program: research activities
have already been initiated in both nations. Our involvement in Mali is in its second year and for the first time, a TROPSOILS junior scientist has been posted in the country. As a target of opportunity, a very specific research project on soil management was conducted in Northern Cameroon by a Cameroonian Ph.D. student with TROPSOILS support. A formal agreement for further collaborative research with a national institution is being explored.
3. To concentrate efforts on user-oriented research.
The TROPSOILS-SAT program, as many other agricultural
research programs, not only in Africa but elsewhere, has been criticized for conducting a disproportionate volume of fundamental research. In the case of the TROPSOILS-SAT program, such criticism is not justified. The peculiarities of the Sahelian environment have been extensively discussed. Although great similarities with some areas of semi arid Texas are apparent, important differences exist. Reliable background information is scarce. Some principles from other semi arid regions in the world, the Middle East, Southwestern U.S., etc, do not apply for the Sahel. A technology development research program cannot be started with such degree of basic uncertainty. TROPSOILS scientists have been trying to restrict basic research to the minimun needed. However, at the initial stages, fundamental studies are unavoidable. In the case of TROPSOILS-SAT, important research findings have justified our approach
For the future, the proportion of fundamental research will be decreased and the program will pursue a strong user
orientation. However, to conduct applied research is not a
81




justification of the program in itself. As has already been stated in this report, many of the technological packages which have been developed at the research station level have never been adopted by farmers. TROPSOILS-SAT is exploring new approaches, and this is reflected in its research projects. For example, experiments are being implemented in farmer fields
(i.e., experiments nprljct-B4t ontro and operation of 6onfarm research is much more difficultthan experiment-s a-t he research station. It may also be more difficult to use traditional statistical methods for the interpretaElon of
r'sECuTs wever, th--e advantages of working at the farm level justify the additional effort. The consideration of indigenous knowledge is another component of this strategy. Some experiments have been designed to improve or adjust, through modern technology, soil and crop management practices which have been used by local farmers for centuries (i.e, some experiments in project B.2). Finally, a close contact with the technology transfer sector will provide important feedback for technology generation. TROPSOILS-SAT i s ready to start a collaborative program with SAFGRAD (Semi Arid Food Grain Researchd--ad Development). The project will promote more effective linkages between the technological development and transfer processes by putting emphasis on strengthening relationships between research conducted by regional institutions (TROPSOILS-SAT, ICRISAT, etc.) and SAFGRAD countries national extension services, via the ACPO program (Accelerated Crop Production Officers).
82




APPENDIX




TropSoils Personnel Engaged In Academic Degree-Oriented Programs Name Country of Degree Initiation Completion Research Source (s) of
Last, First, Middle Citizenship Program Date Date*1 Location*2 Financial Support*3
Gardiner, James U.S.A. M.S. May 1983 July, 1987 Niger TropSoils 100%
Bronson
Payne, William U.S.A. M.S. May 1984 Dec. 1986 Niger TropSoils 100%
Albert
Zaongo, Christophe Burkina Faso M.S. May 1984 Dec. 1986 Niger TropSoils 100%
Guy Ludovic
Doumbia, Mamadou Mali M.S. June 1985 Dec. 1987 Mali TropSoils 100%
Diosse
Wendt, John U.S.A. M.S. Jan. 1983 Aug. 1986 Niger TropSoils 100%
Davis, Jessica U.S.A. Ph.D Jan. 1985 May 1988 Niger TropSoils 80%
Gwyn TAMU 20%
Bui, Elisabeth U.S.A. Ph.D Jan. 1983 Aug. 1986 Niger TropSoils 100%
Nathalie
Yerima, Bernard Cameroon Ph.D May 1983 Aug. 1986 Cameroon TropSoils 80%
P.K. TAMU 20%
Gandah, Mohamadou Nie M.S. Aug. 1985 Dec. 1987 Niger Purdue/USAID 100%
Landeck, Jonathan U.S.A. M.S. Feb. 1982 Aug. 1984 Niger TropSoils 100%
Louis, Pierre Haiti M.S. Sept. 1982 May 1985 Haiti USAID/Haiti 100%
Marcelin, Fritz Haiti M.S. Sept. 1982 Aug. 1985 Haiti USAID/Haiti 100%
* 1 Actual or projected.
* 2 Site of the major portion of research for the thesis.
* 3 Give approximate percent of support from each source.




TAMU Personnel currently involved with TROPSOILS SAT
Dr. E.C.A. Runge Soil and Crop Sc. Dept., Head; P.C. Dr. L. Hossner Professor, Soil Fertility; Acting P.C. Dr. N. Persaud Senior Scientist posted in Niger Dr. C. Wendt Professor, Soil Physics
Dr. L. Wilding Professor, Pedology Dr. A. Onken Professor, Soil Fertility
Dr. R. Lascano Research Associate R. Puentes Research Associate, Program Manager
G. Northcutt Secretary
D. Holdren Secretary
N. Piwonka Technician
J. Mabry Technician
D. Meason Technician
84