This study aims to isolate the supplemental irrigation (SI) scenario from permeable rainwater harvesting basins (RWHBs) best suitable to mitigate the long dry spells (DSs) in Burkinabe Sahel (BS). The water flow in the soil was studied on corn crop during 2013 and 2014 depending on the available water in the monitored RWHB. The experimental design was a block Fisher with four treatments (one under rainfed regime and three under supplemental irrigation). Measurements of the soil water content revealed periods of corn water sufficiency in plots under SI. Average corn yields were respectively 4500 and 4600 kg ha-1 for 2013 and 2014 on plots under SI against 3700 and 3800 kg ha-1 for those in rainfed regime. The average contribution of the SI in increasing corn yield was respectively 24 and 26% in 2013 and 2014 for three supplemental irrigations (SIs), against 19 and 17% for two SIs. With these SIs, the water balance in the RWHB gave respectively at the end of 2013 and 2014, an available water of 60 and 81 mm. The suitable strategy of the SI to mitigate DSs effect in BS was applying two SIs with a dose at least 40 mm around the mid-season.
Key words: Supplemental irrigation, rainwater harvesting, dry spell mitigation, sustainable development, corn, Sahel.
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