Agriculture in the Sahelian Region is characterized by traditional techniques and is strongly dependent on climatic conditions and rainfall. In general, low rainfall during the crop growing season can lead to lower crop yields and, sometimes, to food crises (Sultan, 2005).
Crop yields may suffer significantly with either a late onset or early cessation of the rainy season, as well as with a high frequency of damaging dry spells. (Mugalavai et al., 2008). Early rains at the beginning of the season are frequently followed by dry spells that can last a week or longer. As the amount of water stored in the soil at this time of the year is negligible, early planted crops can suffer water shortage stresses during a prolonged dry spell, up to the death of the seedlings.
The main need of Sahel farmers is to ensure a better food security, adapting traditional crop calendar to climatic variability in order to minimize risks and maximize yields.
The choice of sowing date; the ability to effectively estimate the onset of the season and potentially dangerous dry spells.
Advice to farmers is a fundamental component of prevention.