Efficacy of cover crops in improving soil health and resilience to support vegetable production in Senegal, Africa


GCRF AgriFood Africa Innovation Awards Round 6





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About the project

UK-registered Partner: Cranfield University – Lynda Deeks
Africa-registered Partner: Societe de Cultures Legumieres – Michael Laurent

Commercial vegetable production is critical to Senegal’s GDP but is linked to several environmental challenges, including soil degradation, water scarcity, soil salinity and pests. Cover crops (CC) have the potential to help manage these challenges by increasing soil organic matter, fixing nutrients and pest control. However, information is limited as to which CC suit semi-arid climate and vegetable production.

The aim of this project is to identify suitable CC species. CC will be assessed for their viability within a commercial enterprise in relation to water, soil nutrients and pests. Water use efficiency of the CC will be modelled using AquaCrop. Soil samples will be analysed for changes in macro- and micro-nutrients, including sodium and soil organic matter. Ability of the CC species to reduce nematode population size will also be assessed.

Farmers will benefit through being able to make more informed choices that maximise benefits for them and the environment.


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