Assessing crop–livestock water productivity in mixed-farming systems across climatic zones of Burkina Faso

Climate change adversely impacts food and feed production, depletes water, and increases the vulnerability of the people living within arid and semi-arid areas. The current study aims to assess crop–livestock water productivity within such drought-recurrent or water-stressed regions. This was done through secondary data collection and interviews from 589 households across the Sudan, Sudan–Sahel, and Sahel climatic zones of Burkina Faso. The findings confirm that the feeding strategies of livestock were based essentially on natural pasture, crop residues, and agricultural by-products. Moreover, crop–livestock total water productivity (TWP) was found generally higher in the Sudan zone (0.29+0.02 $US/m3) characterized by more favorable climatic conditions than the Sudan–Sahel and Sahel regions that experienced a similar TWP (0.21+0.01 $US/m3). The research gives insight into the valuation of virtual water contained in livestock feeds. Improving the accessibility in quantity and quality of such feeds through informed policy actions could enhance returns on transpired water. Additionally, other water harvesting and conservation methods are also essential to sustain more productive crop–livestock systems within water-stressed regions like Burkina Faso.
This article is published by IWA PUBLISHING, 2023 and is also available at CLS, 0000-0002-3595-7959
CLS, 0000-0002-3595-7959