Niayes and Groundnut basin areas are among the largest strongholds of rainfed agriculture in Senegal. In the agricultural holdings of both agro-ecological areas, main speculations are far from optimizing their agronomic production potential. In order to analyze the organizational capacity and decision-making processes of producers, a global agronomic diagnostic work was undertaken out on the scale of 180 agricultural holdings through socio-economic and technical descriptions, while taking into account endogenous and exogenous factors of the agrarian environment. The results revealed technical and biophysical failures of the resources in their availability and/or use, but also a plethora of constraints which hinder the increase of agricultural activity and the dynamical transition of the unit. These constraints are justified by a precarious technical framework (-15%), a modest size of the agricultural unit (7.45 ha) and a small to medium crop rotation of which 42% of UAA for the first speculation, pearl millet. For the dry cereal, 19% N.P.K phosphate fertilizers use is rated with 26.05 kg ha-1, and 0.46 t ha-1 of background manure for an average yield of 0.59 t ha-1. These conjunctures point to a system of peasant production with low market capital, limited to the satisfaction of family needs.
Key words: Family farms, farming practices, pearl millet, Niayes, groundnut basin, Senegal.
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