Fert implements since 2010, in partnership with Afdi Touraine, a project of introduction of the Agriculture of Preservation with groups of Moroccan and Malian farmers.
“Look! That works! It sows the wheat directly without we worked the ground!”
Some were the reactions of the farmers of the region of Had Bouhsoussen, in the Middle Atlas in Morocco, during the first trials of the prototype tested this autumn by the project team mobilized by Fert. The principle of the seed drill into a cover crop is based on a very original and innovative concept of Cemagref (become Irstea), fallen into oblivion then taken back a few years ago by Afdi Touraine in Mali. The model tested in Morocco, specific for cereal, was made in France from a reflection led by Fert and Afdi with engineers of the IAV of Rabat and the ENA of Meknes, in narrow relation with the farmers and the concerned Moroccan technicians.
These prototype (12 rows), based on the principle of oblique and pushed disks, has the considerable advantage with regard to the other seed drills ” direct sowing ” classics to be able to be pulled by tractors of rather low power (70-90cv), making it so accessible to the small and average farmers, grouped if necessary in cooperatives as it is the case here to Had Bousoussen.
Other seed drills based on the same concept are in the course of trials in Morocco and in Mali within the framework of this entitled project “Soil conservation and food security: a common concern for farmers in Mali and Morocco“.
Besides the introduction of new cultures in the rotations (legumes, feeds) and the preservation of a plant cover on the ground, the objective of the project is to test and to validate these prototypes of seed drills before spreading them and favoring their local reproduction so that their manufacturing cost is within the reach of the producers of the countries of the Maghreb and Sahel.