Institut Polytechnique Rural de Formation et de Recherche Appliquée (IPR/IFRA) is a higher education institution located 70 km from Bamako. It covers about 400 ha and is located on the left bank of the Niger River. It has undergone several changes from 1965 to the present day. Several projects in agriculture, soil fertility management, agroforestry and animal feeding have been conducted at this study site to enhance crop and animal productivity.
Katibougou IPR is an education institute and also a research station. It is located within the Koulikoro area, and its characteristics are representative for this zone.
About the area
The IPR/IFRA research station covers 400 ha (altitude 326 m). The climate is the Sudano-Sahelian type characterised by a short rainy season of 4 to 5 months (end of June to September) and a long dry season of 8 to 9 months (October to June). Annual rainfall is low at first and peaks in August (600 to 900 mm). The dry season is divided into two periods:
A cold period from November to February with 21oC in December, while the maximum is reached in February with 26oC, and a warm period from March to May with an average 35oC in March and 40oC in May.
The area is subject to two types of wind, the hot and dry harmattan wind occurs during the dry season, and the warm and humid monsoon wind blows during the rainy season. The soils of the area are mainly ferruginous tropical soils with, low soil organic matter content low cation exchange capacity and severe deficiency of available phosphorus. Katibougou’s vegetation is characterised by savannas with annual grasses, trees and shrubs, the main types are:
- Bombacaceae (Adansonia digitata);
- Cesalpiniaceae (Afzalia africana, Cassia siberiana, Bauhinia sp, Burkena africana, Cordyla pinnata, etc.);
- Combretaceae (Combretum lecardii, Combretum glutinosum, Guiera senegalensis, Terminaliasp. etc.)
- Meliaceae (Kaya senegalensis)
- Mimosaceae (Prosopis africana, Dichrostachys glomerata, Parkia biglobosa, Acacia sp.)
The production systems encountered in Koulikoro are the agropastoral system and the park system which is the most widespread. The main crops are millet, sorghum, and cowpea. The animal types encountered in Koulikoro are poultry, goats, sheep and cattle.
Annual rainfall: 700 to 900 mm/year.
Population density: 21 people/km2
Main ethnic groups: Bamabaras/ Mininakans/Peulhs
Study site approximate area: 400 ha
Agricultural land: About 260 ha
- The use of local resources as a mean for soil fertility
- The development of alternative methods for restoring, maintaining and improving soil fertility;
- Management practices of savannah ecosystems and their consequences on the degradation of natural resources;
- Agroforestry and soil fertility management: Integration of trees (Gliricidia sepium, Moringa oleifera) and livestock are key components of soil fertility management and animal feeding.