Upscaling agricultural productivity via decentralized outreach and communication

Rainfall spread data - Source FAO

The Sahel is the semi-arid transition region between the Sahara desert to the north and wetter regions of equatorial Africa to the south. Extending from the Atlantic ocean in the west to the Indian ocean in the east. It has high variability of rainfall, and the land consists of stabilized ancient sand seas. It is one of the poorest and most environmentally degraded areas on earth. Unlike nominal agricultural yields being addressed across most domestic and international media, productivity, thus entailing tools, methods and data aligned towards agricultural production seems to be drawing lesser concerns. This digital artifact is using a regional approach to agricultural productivity upscaling through decentralized outreach, but its underpinning rationale is still valid on a micro country scale using similar existing data. Mobility between Sahelian countries is also very important and remains a step in the trajectory of West African migration from capital cities to other African countries, and then on to Europe or North America. Current globalization process continues to deeply affect the Sahel; like all major world areas of outmigration Sahelian communities are now connected via continuous flows of people, money, goods, and ideas to major destinations of international migration.

Besides hot spots in the Middle East known for major migratory movements of displaced people, the Sahel has continuously been a porous migratory oasis with inevitable clashes of communities over limited natural resources from water, to livestock and human settlement lands...

Areas of critical intervention like this, albeit challenging can be promising when public involvement measures are timely sought, to showcasing the various societal challenges ahead with long term devastating effects for their communities.

Today, through satellite imagery afforded by improved Geographic Information System (GIS), aggregate data can be used over the last decades in awareness raising campaigns near local stakeholders and local private sector groups in the Sahel. Such public involvement scheme can be crucial in domestic resources mobilization for major carbon sequestration activities, projects and income generating activities. This is a typical example where Official Development Assistance (ODA) can help launch the required palliatives to ongoing desertification and environmental degradation.