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PROCEEDINGS OF THE ELEVENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CIVIL, STRUCTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING COMPUTING
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Using Reference Models for Assessing Agriculture Water Management in Burkina Faso
Y.M. Wang1, S. Traore2 and T. Kerh1
1Department of Civil Engineering, 2Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation,
Y.M. Wang, S. Traore, T. Kerh, "Using Reference Models for Assessing Agriculture Water Management in Burkina Faso", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 81, 2007. doi:10.4203/ccp.86.81
Keywords: evapotranspiration, crop water requirement, irrigation requirement, rainfall contribution index, cropping calendar, agriculture potential.
Agriculture in Burkina Faso is largely dominated by 75% of rainfed crop production, which is characterized by short and unevenly distribution of annual rainfall. The shortage of water for crop production is not only a consequence of water scarcity, but also mismatches between water supply and demand. The low output in Burkina Faso from the delayed planting resulting from a lack of information has been revealed . A previous study  suggested that for the efficient use of water in an African semi-arid region, a management practice based on matching water supply and crop demand must be implemented. Evapotranspiration (ETo) is one of the most important hydrological variables used in agriculture water planning and management. The difficulty in Burkina Faso is the lack of availability of the required data and a suitable model for estimating the ETo. In order to explore the agriculture potential in Banfora and Ouagadougou, this study uses the model  previously defined for evapotranspiration estimation for Burkina Faso, which required only temperature as its input.
The results show that, the crop water requirements and their associated irrigation requirements were higher in Ouagadougou than in Banfora regardless of the crop and sowing date. According to the study , the geographical difference in the temperature and precipitation could explain these differences in crop water demands. In addition, the rainfall contribution index is introduced in this study for examining the availability of rainwater. Base on the index, it has been observed that insufficient rainwater is available for most of the crops in Ouagadougou, and sufficient rainwater in the Banfora region, particularly for maize, dry bean, sorghum, millet and groundnut crops. Consequently, the Banfora region showed a higher potential for agriculture as compared to Ouagadougou. Generally, under rainfed condition, May is the most favorable planting month for potato, cassava, sorghum, millet, groundnut, onion and rice crops; and June for maize and dry bean crops. Furthermore, according to the rainfall contribution, it was found in this study that, after the rainy season, if maize and bean crops are under cultivation on 1st September, then the rainwater can possibly contribute between 39.1 and 42.4% of their water requirements. A good cropping calendar as well as improved early maturing crop varieties could be suggested as a recommendation to enhance the agricultural water management efficiency in Burkina Faso.
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