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Rural societies in the face of climatic and environmental changes in West Africa

Benjamin Sultan
Richard Lalou
Mouftaou Amadou Sanni
et al.

Part IV. Adaptation of farming systems, innovations

Chapter 18. The return of Sanio millet in the Sine

Rational adaptation to climate evolution

Bertrand Muller, Richard Lalou, Patrice Kouakou, Mame Arame Soumaré, Séraphin Dorégo, Jérémy Bourgoin et Bassirou Sine

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Sanio millet1 has reappeared in villages in the Sine, between Bambey, Diourbel and Fatick, since the mid-2000s. However, this long cycle millet had disappeared from farms in the northern half of Senegal in the 1970s because of the sudden decrease in rainfall. It was still present further south in the wetter regions of Saloum and beyond as far as the Casamance. As rainfall depths increased from the mid-1990s everywhere in Senegal (Salack et al., 2011), we put forward the hypothesis that this return could form a robust agronomic ‘marker’ of recent pluviometric evolution in central-western Senegal and show the ability of farmers to adapt rapidly and independently—i.e. without the support of agronomic engineering2—to changes in their environment.

However, although the climatic opportunity provided by the return of rainfall seems to be a necessary condition for the production of Sanio, it may not be enough to explain why Sanio is not chosen by all farmers, as it was in the pas...


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