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Open AccessArticle

On-Farm Evaluation on Yield and Economic Performance of Cereal-Cowpea Intercropping to Support the Smallholder Farming System in the Soudano-Sahelian Zone of Mali

1
Centre D’Applications et de Recherches en TéléDétection (CARTEL), Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
2
ONG AMEDD (Association Malienne d’Éveil au Développement Durable) Darsalam II-Route de Ségou, Rue 316 porte 79, BP 212 Koutiala, Mali
3
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT-Niger), BP 12404 Niamey, Niger
4
Institut D’Economie Rurale (IER)-Mali, BP 438 Bamako, Mali
5
CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), ICRISAT West and Central Africa Office, BP 320 Bamako, Mali
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2020, 10(6), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10060214
Received: 20 April 2020 / Revised: 5 June 2020 / Accepted: 6 June 2020 / Published: 9 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Diversification)
Cereal-cowpea intercropping has become an integral part of the farming system in Mali. Still, information is lacking regarding integrated benefits of the whole system, including valuing of the biomass for facing the constraints of animal feedings. We used farmers’ learning networks to evaluate performance of intercropping systems of millet-cowpea and sorghum-cowpea in southern Mali. Our results showed that under intercropping, the grain yield obtained with the wilibali (short maturing duration) variety was significantly higher than the yield obtained with the sangaranka (long maturing duration) variety whether with millet (36%) or sorghum (48%), corresponding, respectively, to an economic gain of XOF (West African CFA franc) 125 282/ha and XOF 142 640/ha. While for biomass, the yield obtained with the sangaranka variety was significantly higher by 50% and 60% to that of wilibali with an economic gain of XOF 286 526/ha (with millet) and XOF 278 516/ha (with sorghum). Total gain obtained with the millet-cowpea system was significantly greater than that obtained with the sorghum-cowpea system by 14%, and this stands irrespective of the type of cowpea variety. Farmers prefer the grain for satisfying immediate food needs instead of economic gains. These results represent an indication for farmer’s decision-making regarding cowpea varieties selection especially for addressing household food security issues or feeding animals. View Full-Text
Keywords: intercropping; cropping systems; Sub-Saharan Africa; millet and sorghum; diversification intercropping; cropping systems; Sub-Saharan Africa; millet and sorghum; diversification
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Sogoba, B.; Traoré, B.; Safia, A.; Samaké, O.B.; Dembélé, G.; Diallo, S.; Kaboré, R.; Benié, G.B.; B. Zougmoré, R.; Goïta, K. On-Farm Evaluation on Yield and Economic Performance of Cereal-Cowpea Intercropping to Support the Smallholder Farming System in the Soudano-Sahelian Zone of Mali. Agriculture 2020, 10, 214.

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