Recycling of plant and animal biomass

One of the specific objectives of the BIOVA project is the increase of agricultural production through the conservation and recycling of biomass (plant and animal) produced on the farm and the promotion of production systems based on the principles of conservation agriculture and promoting crop-livestock synergies. Today, in many agricultural production systems in Africa, the recycling of crop residues and livestock manure is the only accessible source of nutrient return (nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.) to agricultural plots. In this context, the animal represents an essential lever to improve soil fertility by its capacity to integrate, transform, enhance and recycle nutrients. In a mixed crop-livestock farm, the efficiency of biomass flows should be considered at each stage of the transfer cycle, from the production of organic biomass (forage, crop residues, plant cover) the collection and management of these biomasses, to their mineralization in the soil into mineral elements, and the fixation and transformation of these nutrients by the plant. The introduction of conservation agriculture techniques (Direct seeding mulch-based cropping systems – DMC) or the introduction of legumes into rotations also improves the nutrient dynamics of soils and their adding-value by crops.

The synergies between agriculture and livestock (adding-value to agricultural by-products, improving fertilizer quality, etc.) significantly improve the efficiency of biomass use and reduce losses and wastage of nutrients within the agro-ecosystems.