The present study uses a computer simulation model to evaluate the improvement of soilwater holding capacity through the application of different dosages of organic matter to three types of soil, namely sandy clay loam, sandy loam and sand under Sahelien condition. Additionally, a model for irrigation scheduling is tested for three selected crops (maize, bean and rice) in Ouagadougou region located in Burkina Faso, Sub-Saharan Africa. On the basis of the observed data conditions, the irrigation depths are numerically computed during the growing stages. The computed results are shown to be 5 times of irrigation for both maize and bean and 12 times of irrigation for rice. Rice crop presents high water depth and times of irrigation due to its high water requirement. The employed model provides a convenienttool to the extension agents for manually exploring the irrigation schedule in Burkina Faso.As the content of the soil organic matter increases to 4 tons, the soil holding capacity including permanent wilting point, field capacity, saturation and saturated hydraulic conductivity are improved for all types of soil in Ouagadougou. Thus, the organic matter application is recommended for enhancing the soil holding capacity in low rainfall area.
Key words: Irrigation scheduling, soil holding capacity, organic matter, Sub-Saharan Africa.
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