TAAT success story: Empowering women farmers through Urea Deep Placement Technology
Kadiolo is a town in the Sikasso Region of southern Mali, which lies about 13 km north of the border with Ivory Coast and 30 km west of the border with Burkina Faso. The town is an agrarian community with nearly everyone engaging in agriculture at the subsistence level.
Faced with a family to feed after the death of her husband, Nabintou Ouattara, a 57-year-old widow, and 65 other Kadiolo women came together and established what is now known as the “Dabakala Association.” This farming association exploits the Folona inland valley of 29 ha. These women have one goal: to produce rice and feed their families.
Although full of courage, they were in a cycle of poverty and food insecurity. For example, Nabintou had been harvesting not more than nine bags of paddy rice or 675 kg in 0.40 hectare of land over decades.
During the past 2018 cropping season, the members of Dabakala Association were brought together by the local agriculture sector of Kadiolo for training in and upscaling of the Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology.
This agricultural input-based technology, promoted by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) under the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program, uses less fertilizer and seeds per hectare for better crop harvest and income.
TAAT is implemented by IITA in close partnership with other CGIAR Centers and specialized technical centers like the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), IFDC, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), national agricultural research and extension systems, and private sector partners.
TAAT promotes and disseminates proven, high-performance food production technologies to millions of farmers in a commercially sustainable way through a network of people and institutions forming a Regional Technology Delivery Infrastructure (RTDI) within an enabling environment.
Launched in 2018, the program is already increasing agricultural productivity in Africa through the deployment of proven and high-performance agricultural technologies at scale along selected value chains such as rice, maize, cassava, wheat, sorghum and millet, orange-flesh sweet potato, high-iron beans, livestock, aquaculture.
As a volunteer through the Dabakala Association, Ouattara conducted a demonstration plot to evaluate the UDP technology.
“I used half of my field for the test. With less seed and less fertilizer, yields far exceeded the other half grown in our traditional broadcasting fertilizer practice. Nowadays, from 675 kg in the past, I harvest up to 1725 kg of paddy rice in my small plot of 0.40 ha,” she says.
Ouattara takes pride in the changing situation of women in Dabakala Association after the adoption of the UDP.
“We never thought of selling our rice one day. But since we adopted UDP, our returns have increased so much that we are selling some of them for our cash needs. Today, many of our women are independent. They no longer depend entirely on their husbands. Besides, we are mostly widows,” she added.
Ouattara and members of her Dabakala Association are grateful to the African Development Bank (AfDB)-funded TAAT program which identified their challenge with low yields and proffered the appropriate technology (UDP) that is putting smiles on their faces.
Designed for resource-poor farmers cultivating lowland rice, UDP is a nutrient management technology that accomplishes what agriculture must do in a changing climate: increase yields and profitability and reduce pollution.
Find full story on the TAAT Featured News post: How TAAT is Empowering Women Farmers through Urea Deep Placement Technology.