Water availability and degradation of soil fertility are the most serious constraints to rainfed crop production in the Sahelian and Savannah zones of Africa. The Western Sudan Agricultural Research Project is conducting farming systems research to increase the productivity of traditional farmers and pastoralists. Improved crop management practices are being developed to stabilize agricultural production and to utilize available rainfall more efficiently. Soil and water conservation trials are being carried out in the Kordofan region at El Obeid (Sahelian zone) and Kadugli (Savannah zone).