Patrice Sanou

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Janet H. Gritzner


Desertification has two patterns in Burkina Faso. The first pattern is referred to as "internal desertification". It is developed on the Central Plateau. The analysis of internal desertification in the Central Plateau village of Donsin shows four manifestations: one, complete cultivation of the land; two, rapid expansion of the cropland; three, marginal soil cropping; and four, continuous cultivation of the soil. Three major factors contribute to desertification in this region: the first is the worsening physical conditions, especially the rainfall fluctuations; the second is the use of inappropriate farming systems; and the third is the high rate of population increase. Internal desertification leads to the local degradation of the soil and vegetation and emigration of people to the south and the west of the country. The second pattern of desertification is identified as "desertification by external pressures". It is developed in Western-Burkina. Manifestations of desertification by external pressures are the rapid and extensive increase of cropland and the cultivation of marginal soil. There are at least three main causes of desertification by external pressures in Western-Burkina. They are: increasing immigration from the Central Plateau, economic and technological improvements of farming and introduction of irrigation. This type of desertification is contributing not only to the degradation of the environment, but also to social tensions that can make land management strategies difficult to implement. Land management strategies in Western-Burkina must be oriented towards social integration of native and immigrant communities, economic valorization of the land, and best management practices. Land management on the Central Plateau requires a quick restoration of the soil and vegetation and implementation of best management practices.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Desertification -- Burkina Faso
Desertification -- Control -- Burkina Faso
Agricultural systems -- Burkina Faso




South Dakota State University



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