Economic Efficiency of Sorghum Microfertilizing in Smallholder Farms in the North-Sudanian Zone of Burkina Faso

  • A. Traoré
  • B. Ouattara
  • H. Sigué
  • F. Lompo
  • Andre Bationo


The mineral fertilizer microdosing (MD) technique was disseminated in the North-Sudanian zone of Burkina Faso for 3 years, using various extension tools. This study aimed to analyze the economic efficiency as well as farmers’ perception of the use of MD technique. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from 60 demonstration plots conducted by innovative farmers and from 300 households, using an interview guide during the focus groups. The results of the demonstration trials showed that this innovation significantly increased (P˂0.05) sorghum productivity compared to farmer’s practice. It even tripled sorghum yields when combined with soil and water conservation (SWC) techniques, and the use of improved seed varieties. It also led to the efficient use of production capital with cost-benefit ratios ranging from 1.3 to 6.9 depending on the sorghum germplasm and its combined use with SWC techniques. Farmers acknowledged the positive effects of MD technique on their socio-economic well-being through higher incomes from sorghum production and improved food availability. These results challenged policy makers to trigger actions aiming at promoting large-scale adoption of MD technique for sustainable local development.


Soil fertility Demonstration trial Effectiveness Efficiency Farmers’ perception 



This study was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC); and through the collaboration of researchers from the University of Parakou (Benin); Institut de l’Economie Rurale (Mali); Institut National de Recherche Agronomique (Niger); the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (Kenya). May they find in this work the reward for their efforts.


  1. Aune, J. B., Doumbia, M., & Berthé, A. (2007). Microfertilizing sorghum and pearl millet in Mali agronomic, economic and social feasibility. Agriculture, 36, 199–203.Google Scholar
  2. Bakayogo, M., Maman, N., Palé, S., Sirifi, S., Taonda, S. J. B., Traoré, S., & Mason, S. C. (2011). Microdose and N and P fertilizer application rates for pearl millet in West Africa. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 6, 1140–1150.Google Scholar
  3. Barro, A., Zougmoré, R., & Taonda, S. J. B. (2005). Mécanisation de la technique du zaï manuel en zone semi-aride. Cahiers Agricultures, 14, 549–559.Google Scholar
  4. Bationo, A., Lompo, F., & Koala, S. (1998). Research on nutrient flows and balances in West Africa. State-of-the art. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 71, 19–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brossier, J. (2007). Apport des théories sur l’exploitation agricole dans une perspective de gestion. In M. Gafsi, P. Dugué, J. Y. Jamin, & J. Brossier (Eds.), Exploitations agricoles familiales en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre,10rd edn Quae (pp. 87–103). Paris: Versailles Cedex.Google Scholar
  6. Compaoré, E., Fardeau, J. C., Morel, J. L., & Sedogo, M. P. (2001). Le phosphore biodisponible des sols : Une des clés de l’agriculture durable en Afrique de l’Ouest. Cahiers Agricultures, 10, 81–85.Google Scholar
  7. Gafsi, M., & M’Bétid-Bessane. (2007). Mesure des performances économiques. In M. Gafsi, P. Dugué, J. Y. Jamin, & J. Brossier (Eds.), Exploitations agricoles familiales en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre, 10rd edn Quae (pp. 289–301). Paris: Versailles Cedex.Google Scholar
  8. Ganou, I. (2005). Monographie du Zondoma; Ministe’re de l’Agriculure (85 p). Burkina: Faso.Google Scholar
  9. Hayashi, K., Abdoulaye, T., Gerard, B., & Bationo, A. (2007). Evaluation of application timing in fertilizer micro-dosing technology on millet production in Niger, West Africa. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 80, 257–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lompo, F., Bonzi, M., Bado, B. V., Gnankambary, Z., Ouandaogo, N., & Sedogo MPet Yao-Koamé. (2007). Effets des modes de gestion de la fertilité des sols sur la solubilisation des phosphates naturels dans un Lixisol en zone nord-soudanienne du Burkina Faso. Sciences et Techniques, Série Sciences Naturelles et Agronomie, 29, N°1 et 2.Google Scholar
  11. Ouattara, B., Ouattara, K., Serpantié, G., Mando, A., Sedogo, M. P., & Bationo, A. (2006). Intensity cultivation induced-effects on soil organic carbon dynamic in the Western Cotton area of Burkina Faso. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystem., 76, 331–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ouédraogo, S. (2005). Intensification de l’Agriculture dans le plateau central du Burkina Faso : une analyse des possibilités à partir des nouvelles technologies. Thèse de Doctorat, Université de Groningen.Google Scholar
  13. Ouédraogo, M., Dembelé, Y., & Somé, L. (2010). Perceptions et stratégies d’adaptation aux changements des précipitations : cas des paysans du Burkina Faso. Sécheresse, 21, 87–96.Google Scholar
  14. Palé, S., Mason, S. C., & Taonda, S. J. B. (2009). Water and fertilizer influence on yield of grain sorghum varieties produced in Burkina Faso. South African Journal of Plant and Soil, 26, 91–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Paturel, J. E., Koukfonou, P., Ouattara, F., & Cres, N. (2002). Variabilité du climat du Burkina Faso au cours de la seconde moitié du XXème siècle. OAI ResearchGate Web.˃publication. Consulté le 21 décembre 2015.Google Scholar
  16. Roesch, M. (2007). Financement et trésorerie des exploitations familiales africaines. In M. Gafsi, P. Dugué, J. Y. Jamin, & J. Brossier (Eds.), Exploitations agricoles familiales en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre (10rd ed., pp. 280–286). Paris: Quae,Versailles Cedex.Google Scholar
  17. Sawadogo, H. (2006). Fertilisation organique et phosphatée en système de culture zaï en milieu soudano-sahélien du Burkina Faso. Thèse de doctorat, Université de Liège-Gembloux.Google Scholar
  18. Sawadogo, H., Bock, L., Lacroix, D., & Zombré, N. P. (2008). Restauration des potentialités des sols dégradés à l’aide du Zaï et du compost dans le Yatenga (Burkina Faso). Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment, 12, 279–290.Google Scholar
  19. Sermé, I., Ouattara, K., Logah, V., Taonda, S. J. B., Quansah, C., Ouattara, B., & Abaidoo, R. (2015). Impact of tillage and fertility management on Lixisol hydraulic characteristics. International Journal Agriculture and Agriculture Research, 7(2), 80–92.Google Scholar
  20. Tabo, R., Bationo, A., Diallo, M. K., Hassane, O., & Koala, S. (2006). Fertilizer micro dosing for the prosperity of small scale farmers in the Sahel: Final report. (28 pp), Global theme on agroecosystems No. 23.P.O/Box 12404, IInternational Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Niamey, Niger.Google Scholar
  21. Tabo, R., Bationo, A., Bruno, G., Ndjeunga, J., Marcha, D., Amadou, B., Annou, M. G., Sogodogo, D., SibiryTaonda, J. B., Hassane, O., Maimouna, K., Diallo, M. K., & Koala, S. (2007). Improving cereal productivity and farmers’ income using a strategic application of fertilizers in West Africa. In A. Bationo, B. Waswa, J. Kihara, & J. Kimetu (Eds.), Advances in integrated soil fertility management in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and opportunities (pp. 201–208). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Twomlow, S., Rohrbach, D., Dimes, J., Rusike, J., Mupangwa, W., Ncube, B., Hove, L., Moyo, M., Mashingaidze, N., & Mahposa, P. (2010). Micro-dosing as a pathway to Africa’s green revolution: Evidence from broad-scale on-farm trials. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 88, 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Zougmoré, R., Mando, A., Ringersma, J., & Stroosnijder, L. (2003a). Effect of combined water and nutrient management on runoff and sorghum yield in semiarid Burkina Faso. Soil Use and Management, 19, 257–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zougmoré, R., Zida, Z., & Kambou, N. F. (2003b). Role of nutrient amendments in the success of half-moon soil and water conservation practice in semiarid Burkina Faso. Soil & Tillage Research, 71, 143–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Zougmoré, R., Mando, A., Stroosnijder, L., & Ouédraogo, E. (2004). Economic benefits of combining soil and water conservation measures with nutrient management in semiarid Burkina Faso. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 70, 261–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zougomré, R., Kambou, F. N., Ouattara, K., & Guillobez, S. (2000). Sorghum, cowpea intercropping: An effective technique against runoff and soil erosion in the Sahel (Saria, Burkina Faso). Arid Soil Erosion and Rehabilitation, 14, 329–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zoundi, J. S., Lalba, A., Tiendrebeogo, J. P., & Bambara, D. (2007). Systèmes de cultures améliorés à base de niébé (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) pour une meilleure gestion de la sécurité alimentaire et des ressources naturelles en zone semi-aride du Burkina Faso. Tropicultura, 25, 87–96.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Traoré
    • 1
  • B. Ouattara
    • 1
  • H. Sigué
    • 3
  • F. Lompo
    • 1
  • Andre Bationo
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA)OuagadougouBurkina Faso
  2. 2.International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC)AccraGhana
  3. 3.Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA)Fada N’GourmaBurkina Faso

Personalised recommendations