Rehabilitation of rice fields in the acid sulphate soils of Lower Casamance, Senegal

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1 Rehabilitation of rice fields in the acid sulphate soils of Lower Casamance, Senegal J.P. Montoroi', J. Albergel', A. Dobos'', M. Fallii S.Sall:', A. Bernard2, D. Brunet2, G. Dubée2 and P. Zante ' ORSTOM, 7074 Route d'aulnay, Bondy France *ORSTOM. BP Dakar-Hann Senegal 31SRA. BP Ziguinchor-Djibelor SeneRa1 A be tract The Casamance region in the south ofsenegal is historically a region of rice production for home supply. Since the recent drought, the production stagnated while an increased population demands more and more rice imports. Since the seventies. the government has taken measures to increase the degree of self-suficiency in rice. Among these. 111e devetopinent of 'mangrove rice' production with the construction ofdams is one of the most important. During the very dry years in the beginning of the eighties, the main objectives were to protect the ricefields from salinization and to rehabilitate the areas of acid sulphate soils. The anti-salt dam5 did not increase ricc production. A I50 ha polder in the small valley of Djiguinoum, directly in connection to the Casamance river, was chosen to try a new water management system. Sluices allow drainage of salts and acids at the beginning of the rainy seiison and, also. maintain water for rice culture. Three fields on a degraded area (about 1 ha) were equipped with an outer dike and a drainage network connected to the main river. Traditional techniques. used by the farmers. were applied for the rice cultivation. During two consecutive years a significant increase in-yield was obtained. In the first year. salt movement in the soil was controlled by the dam. In the second year ploughing. tolerant varieties and fertilization were also tested. A social inquiry was held, investigating whether the rice culture actually had any chance to become again a main interest for the population. Introduction The effects of the recent droughts are now well known in lower Casamance. especially in the mangrove environment (Marius 1979, Marius et al. 1986; Boivin el al. 1986, Loyer et ai. 19x8. Pages and Dehenuy Pages e1 at Le Brusq et al Dacosta Montoroi Mougenot et al. 1990). The principal consequences are: - Decrease and destruction of the mangrove vegetation: - Increasing salinity in coastal waters; - Chcmical degradaiion of lowland soils; - Decreasing rice production, increasing activities in the uplands; - Increased erosion in the uplands; - Migration IO the cities. 195

2 A. The Casamance region is historically occupied by a population of farmers and fishermen, the Diolas. Rice is the staple crop. Rice cultivation has a dominant role in Diola society. although drought and migration have diminished it. The stagnation of rice production means shortage at the end of long dry seasons but more-rewarding crops, like peanuts, can pay for imported rice. Management of the mangrove soils is an old custom in this region and water management is well-adapted to condirions of normal rainfall (Pelissier 1966). However, with the dramatic decrease in rainfall (Figure I). soils have become very saline and severely acid. The government wanted to develop rice production, especially in the mangrove area, because national self-sufficiency dropped from 40 per cent in 1970 to 20 per Cent in To thisend. theconstruction ofdamsacross the main branchesofthecasamance river has been studied. The aim was to protect the mangrove forest and to adapt the water management to the soils; for example, to avoid acifidication during the dry season. During the very dry years at the beginning of the eighties, the high levels of salinity in the rivers made it necessary to revise the water management. It was necessary to protect the rice fields from salinization. The construction of small, anti-salt dams with a water control structure, hand-made by the people, was externally supported (USAID/SOMIVAC/ISRA 1985). Some of thesedams have been effective, especially in the sandy valleys. but not in other ases. The rice production was lower than planned. Some technical solutions for the reclamation of acid sulphate soils were tested in Casamance before the drought (Beye 1973a.b, 1974, 1977, Beye et al. 1978). Here the results of a field experiment in the Djiguinoum valley are presented. The sluice ofthe anti-salt dam has been improved to facilitate the water management and different culture techniques have been tried in rice fields. Environmental situation The Djiguinoum valley is located on the right bank of the Casamance river, I5 km northeast of Ziguinchor. The catchment has a surface of 26 km (Figure 2). The antisalt dam is situated near Djílakoun. 150 ha is flooded in the rainy season. The field cxpeflment is situated near the Ziguinchor track, about I km north of the dam, on an acid sulphate soil. The surface horizon is well-structured; the clay content was between 70 and 75 per Cent with a silt fraction of 20 per cent. ph value was 3.5 for the surface horizon and 2.5 at depth; exchangeable aluminium was 40 mmol kg- ; total sulphur 3-5 per cent by mass in the subsoil. The groundwater level was at m at the end of the dry Season with a ph of 4, an EC of 16 ds m I and high soluble aluminium (0.6 mmol P). Salts are observed on the surface and form a weak crust mixed with clay in some places. The red soils of the surrounding uplands support forest and peanut culture. Im 1.g 114) lid 1Dm -lm 1ID Figurc I Annual rainhll in Ziguinchor during Ihc period Full line: live yearuverdyes Dotted lines: averagc annual valuc Tor iwcnty year periods: ly31-1yso mm: l95i-ly70: 1524 mni: : 1133mm lrn *vu* UTI Hv I I i I I 1 Figurc 2 Field expriment sile in thccatchmcnl or Djiguinoum

3 ~ Wash i 9 ciouler dike and canal I I( 20 m 4 i drnlnige \ mal Figure 3 Traditional r ia field with salt-tolerant varieties uscd in The two rice-plolr divided in thra stripare noi plouyhnl hcfore plantation time. No fcrtiliu~tion. drainage canal Figurc 4 Hcxuyonvl ricc licld with diltcrcnl fcrtiliicr trcainitnt> Methods Wurcr munurrmcnf The original sluice was made of wooden hoards and regulating the water level was hard when the upstream side was full ofwater. A new system. installed in consists or manually-operated vertical slide gates (Albergel et al. 1990). Four rules are applied at the anti-salt dam to improve the water management: out the first runom. which contains a high level of salts. at the beginning of the rainy season: - Maintain an appropriate water level for rice during the wet season; Avoid flooding orthe track crossing the valley; Open the sluices when the upstream level is at least 4cm higher than the downstream level. Field experimcnf A traditional field (Figure 3) and an hexagonal field (Figure 4) were constructed with a local tool. the kayendo (Marzouk-Schmilz 198X).The traditional rice field has eight plots each 20 m by IO m separated by drainage canals. A surrounding canal allows drainage 10 the tiver. In 1990, two plots were divided into three strips and left untilled. The others were tilled. Three sah-tolerant varieties were tested. Each of two hexagonal rice fields was divided in three lozenge-shaped plots which 198 received diilèrent fertilizer treatments (lime. lime plus phosphate. and phosphate plus gypsum) for only one nœ variety (Rok 5). The cultivated surface of this rice field was 1875 m. For the second hexagonal field, fertilizers wcre mixed with rice straw. The riœ was transplanted into flooded fields in August and harvested in December. The chemical composition of the drainage water in tilled plots was nionitored. The soil solution wasexiracted cvery week with in-situ water samplers installed at different depths. A rainfiill simulator was used on a bare and a tilled soil IO observe runoff and salt movements. Results Wafer management The variations of upstream and downstream water levels ilre shown in Figure 5. Effect o/ warer munagcmcnt on soil sulinir)* Water management by the anti-salt dam diminishes the salt level in the topsoil (Figure 6). The electrical conductivity at 25 cm depth decreased from 30 to 10 ds m I in Salinity increased rapidly at the end of the rainy period. The salt profile is always increasing with depth, even during the flooded period. At depth, the groundwater salinity remains high all year, showing a sharp increase of the salt profile in the wet season. The lowest sait level in the surface wilter is about I99

4 ~~ ~~ t Y u u " ".. " Y U " Y * " Y u -,.. Figure 7 Rnlislribution of sullv in II crowseclion of m lillcd plol after thrcc iimulrted rainshowcrs (Ml mm during one hour for each shower) 80 so E C*o I "30 d S l m m 10 Rice production The yields obtained in 1989 and 1990 were higher than the average yield of the Casamance region (about 1 t ha I). The results for the traditional rice field were better in 1989 than in 1990 (Table 2). The rainy season pattern was different and the water management had to be adapted. The salinity decrease was less effective. The lower yields obtained in the hexagonal rice field (Table 3) may be explained by tl different planting density (125 O00 plants per ha against 200 O00 for the traditional rice field). Table I Chcmiurlcompositionofthesurhœ~lcron 16Scptcmkr IYXO(Bruner and ante 1940) ph Soluble iona. mmol per litre EC (ds/m) NY K Ca Mu CI So1 Al I C SI h5 O 2 01NH 0.07 O /10 3/11 3/92 2/1 Figurc 6 ElTccl ol' water manugcment tin ihc cllwrical conductwily (EC. in ds m I) of a culiivried acid sulphate siiil in the Djlguinoitni vnlley ovcr two riitiiy.%awns 3 ds m I (Table 1). Rice roots grow only in the upper few centimetres. being unable to tolerate thc salinity below. Rcdislriliutinn of sults Tillage helps to decrease the salt content in the surface soil (Figun 7). On ban soil. the rainlall runs OIT, a salt crust is formed after each shower and infiltration is not effective. 200 Tubk 2 Averuge paddy riœ yicld (in t/hu) for dillirenl. suil-tolerant vanclin of rtc'and tîonal ria field (Brunet and Zanlc Brunet et al. IWI) Rice variety 19XY Ivy0 Tillage ROCK 5 2.H VJ 6H4 D 2h ETHOUHAL 2.H No tillage ROCK 5 DJ 684 D WHOUHAL 2.R I.o I.Y 2.2 o H?.I tilla~e in the Indi- 20 I

5 1-1 ** u $ Table 3 average paddy na yield (in t ha I) for different type of fertilim's in the hexagonal ricelicld (Dohs etal. IY9l) Treutment plot Yield A lime 1.o B lime + phosphate I.2 C phosphate -e gypsum 0.7 Reference 0.5 Conclusion The levels of rice production obtained in the experimental plots must be regarded with some caution. Several problems must be solved before regional extension can be advocated. Two successful years is a good basis but, in Casamance. each valley has a particular configuration and the techniques must be adapted to each case. Knowledge of the environmental conditions is required: for example, a hydrological study is needed as a basis for dam design and construction. A major problem of water management is that all users depend on the water level control at the dam. The risk of conflicts between users is high because they cannot regulate individually. and users must be trained in the operation and maintainance of the dam. New management schemes will be needed to reclaim all the fields in a valley, for example with intermediate sluices. The field experiment in the Djiguinoum valley has stimulated the local population' to struggle against the effects of thedrought on their fields. They want to come back to the valley with the desire to copy the management model used by the project (Sal1 1991). An organimtional structure will be essential to develop the whole valley. Socioeconomic conditions have changed in the Casamance and future projects should consider this reality. References Albergl J.. D. Bruncl. G. Dub. J.P. Montoroi and P. Znnk Gestion d'un barrage anti-sel en Bast Casamana (Snkpl), In: A. Kergreis et J. Claude (editors): Utilisation rationelle de I'cau des Detils bassins versantsen 7~ne aride. Ed. Aupelf-Urcf. John Libhey Eurolcxt. Pans, Beye G Une mcthodc simple de dessalement da sols dc tanne de Casamance: le paillnge. Agro. Trop.. 2H %9 Beyc G Etude comyrative de dinhnls engrais phosphal& pour la fumure phosphatic du nz en sols de nzierc Ir& acida dc bssc Cusamnnce. Agro. Trop Beye Ci Etude compwhvc de l'action de la polaase et de la paille enfouie sur le dcvcloppement CI IC rendement du riz sur sol argileux de hass Casnmance. Agro. Trop., 28, I I Beye G Influence de la longueur de la suhmcrsion avant repiquage et dc I'enfouisscmcnl de paille sur les proprift& physico-chimiques de deux sols de flzidre el sur IC dbvcloppemcnt el Ics rendements du ni. Agro. Trop I Beye G., M. Tourt and G. Anal Action de In paille enfouie sur Is cnraclsrisliquek physicoshimiqua dessolssubmergisde ridirede basgcasamanaetsuricdcvelopprrnentduriz. Agro.Trop..33.4, Boivin P. J.Y. Loyer. B. Mougcnol and P. Zante Sichcressc CI ivolution des dements fluvio-marins au Snigal: cas de la hsu Casamance. Symp. Int. INQUA-ASEQUA Changements globaux en Afrique durant la Quaternaire. Trav. et Doc. ORSTOM no Brunct D Etude pidologique de III vuilse de Djiguinoum (Bassc Casamance). Multigr., ORSTOM/ Dakar Brunet D. and P. lante Essai rizicole de la vall6c de Djiguinoum. Basse Casamancc. Rapport agropfdologiquc. Multigr.. ORSTOM/Dukar Brunet D.. P. 7untc und J.L. Duprey 19W. Essai rizicole cn culturc truditiuncllc. Vallh de Djiyuinoum (Bassc Casumunce). Rapport apro-pbdologique IW). Multigr.. ORSTOMIDakar Dncostu H Prlripitations cl koulcmcnts.sur le hassin de la Casamuncc. Thdse Mme cycle. UCAD. Dakar Dohs A.. M. Fall and J.P. Montoroi ly9l. Anu3ioraiion de la feriiliti des rizii.res de basse Cns;tmancc (SCnfgal) en relation avcc la gestion des caux de ruisscllcment d'un hassin vcrwnt: prenlitrs rcsultats et perspectives. Sminuire Gestion agroclimatique des prkipitntions. Une voie dc rtduciion du gap technologiqucdc l'agriculture tropical apricainc Dtcumbrc Bamako (Milli) Le Brusq J.Y.. J.Y. Loyer. 8. Mougcnot and M. Carn 19x7. Nouvellcs paragkniscj i sulliltcs d'aluniinium de fcr er dc magnbium, CI dc leur distribution dans lus sols sulfds acides du Sni.gal. Scicnct du Sol. 233). 173-IH4 Loyer J.Y.. P. Boivin. J.Y. Le Brusq and P. 2." Lcs sols du domaine fluvig-marin de Casamancc (Snkgal): ivolution rkcntccl revaluation dcscontraintcs majeurcs pour leur miwen valeur. In: H. Dosi (editor): Selected papers of the Dakar symposium on acid sulphate soils Publ. W. International Institute for Lnnd Reclamation and Improvement, Wagcningen Marius C. ly7y. Effets de la skhcrcsse sur I'CvoIuiion phytog2ographiqueci pcdologiquc de la mangrovc cnhasccasamancc. BullelindcI'IFAN.t.41.dr.A.n"4.hhY-6Y1 Marius C Mangrovcs du SCnigal CI de la Gamhic. Ecologic. pidologic. giochimie. mise cn valeur et amhagcment. Trav. ct Doc ORSTOM Marius C.. J. Luas and Y. Kalck 19x6. Evolution du golfe de Casamance au Quaierndire rhnl CI changementsdcla vkg6lalionetdnsolsde mangrovcslifsi la sichcrcsseactucllc. Symp. lnt. INQUA-ASEQUA Changcments globaux en Afrique durant la Quaternaire, Tr:w CI Ihc. 1Y ORSTOM Manouk-Schmilz. Y, Instruments ariitoircs, syrtcmcs de culiurcs CI din'krcnciatinn intra-cthniquc, Cih. ORSTOM. &r. Sci. Hum.. vol XX Y9-42S Montoroi J.P Les sols CI I'agriculturc dans IC domuinc cstuaricn de hasse Casitmancc. Skminairc Conservation el utilisation durahlc des ressources nalurellcs du hassin hydrographiquc de la Casamance Octobre Ziguinchor (%n&al) Mougcnot 8.. P. Zante, and J.P. Montoroi Diteclion CI kvolution saisonniire des sols saliset ucidifibs du domaine fluvio-marin de hassc Casamancc au Snigd. par itnagcrie sttclliktirc. la: I'. Lsl'rnnue CI J.M. Dubois (editors): Apports dc la IPIMclation d la lulle conlrc la.sichcresx, Editions Aup4Wrcf. John Libbcy Eurotext. Paris Pagfs J. and J.P. Dcbcnay Evolution Saisonniire dc la salinité de la Casamance. Description ci essai demcdilisntion. Rcv. Hydrobiul. trop., O Pages J. J.P. Debcnay and J.Y. Le Brusq 19x7. L'environncmcnl esluaricn de la C.trnmancc. Rev. Hydrobiol. trop klissicr P ptcysansdu~n~~~l~-lcscivilisalionsagr~lircsdu Cuyori la Casamunce. Imp. Fahrcgue, St Yriuix SuIl S. and O. Diop Projet pilote 'Casamance'. Bas-fond de Djiguinouni Rapport dc synthhse: socio- Cconomic. Multigr.. ORSTOM/ISRA/R3S USAID/SOMIVAC!ISRA 1985 Acin de la I lbme Tahle Rondc sur les barrages unti-sel juin Ziguinchor

6 Selected Papers of the Ho Chi Minh City Symposium on Acid Sulphate Soils Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, March 1992 Edited by D.L. Dent and M.E.F. van Mensvoort Publication 53 ELLB International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement, P.O. Box 45,6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands, R. s.t. o. M. Fonds

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