Sahelian Droughts: A Partial Agronomic Solution


Series: Environmental Remediation Technologies, Regulations and Safety
BISAC: SCI026000

The Sahelian zone stretches across Africa from Senegal and Mauritania in the west to Sudan in the east, passing through Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad. The Sahel transition zone is adjacent to the southern boundary of the Sahara Desert, and its agriculture usually is limited by droughts. Since 1970, the droughts have been even more extreme, and major food crops produced little food and little forage was available for livestock. Millions of people living in the Sahel have suffered from famine and hundreds of thousands of people have died. As of 1974, it was estimated that the livestock population had decreased by about 80%.

In the early 1970s, while working as an agronomist/ Professor at the University of California in Riverside and conducting collaborative research in Senegal, Dr. Hall designed a partial agronomic solution to these droughts. In implementing this solution, he collaborated with African students and scientists to breed cowpea varieties that could withstand these droughts and provide food for people and livestock alike. Early-flowering cowpea varieties with resistance to drought, various pests and diseases were bred by researchers in California, Senegal, Sudan and Ghana. Cowpea varieties were released in Senegal, Sudan and Ghana that have produced significant amounts of food in years when traditional cowpea varieties and other staple food crops died out. Enhanced cowpea breeding and agronomy programs now are being conducted by African scientists in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Sudan. (Imprint: Nova)


Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Sahelian Droughts: 1968 -1998

Chapter 2. Search for an Agronomic Solution to Drought: Research in Senegal and California from 1974-1980

Chapter 3. Project Initiation in Senegal and Sudan: 1980-1984

Chapter 4. ‘Operation Cowpea’ in Senegal: 1984-1986

Chapter 5. Cowpea and the “Hungry Period” in the Sahel

Chapter 6. On-Farm Experiments and Progress for Women in Africa

Chapter 7. Improved Cowpea Production Systems for the Sahel and California

Chapter 8. Diffusion of Cowpea Technology in the Sahel: 1992-2001

Chapter 9. Future Needs and Opportunities for Agricultural Research in the Sahel

Chapter 10. Epilogue


About the Author



Click here to read the book review by – Dr. Jeff Ehlers, University of California, Riverside (retired)

Click here to read the book review by – Dr. Tony Fischer, FAIA (Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agriculture); FTSE (Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering); Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America; Honorary Fellow at CSIRO Food and Agriculture, Canberra, Australia

Additional Information

Audience: Scientists, students and others interested in plant breeding, agronomy, plant pathology, entomology, nematology, soil science, nitrogen fixation, international development, adaptation to drought and heat, the Sahel, and agricultural development in Africa and elsewhere.
People involved in rural development, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Buffett Foundation, World Vision International and USAID.
People interested in Global Climate Change

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