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  • ISFM Book of Abstracts (Malawi)

    ISFM Book of Abstracts (Malawi)

    This compilation of abstracts and publication titles on Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM)is an endeavor by the Soil Health Consortium of Malawi to facilitate the awareness and access to such information. The main objective of this publication is to provide stakeholders with background research on ISFM components such as varieties, fertilizers, application methods, cropping systems, soil management, agroforestry. Some of the publications are covering case studies of success stories and policy reviews. With such information, stakeholders are encouraged to identify, within their contexts, factors that unlock yield or responses to applied technologies. Further, the book will reduce duplication of research, errors, and encourage scaling out of success stories. Read More
  • 4R Plant Nutrient Management in African Agriculture

    4R Plant Nutrient Management in African Agriculture

    There is urgent need to increase crop production in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to overcome food shortage problems and meet growing food demands. Given the poor fertility of soils in the region and the low levels of fertilizer use, fertilizer use must increase if the region is to reverse the problems of low crop productivity, malnutrition and land degradation. However, the benefits of increased fertilizer use will be limited unless farmers have the knowledge to use fertilizer in the correct way. The 4R Nutrient Stewardship concept is an approach that was developed to communicate the Right ways to manage fertilizers based on four principles: applying the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time in the growing season, and in the right place. It provides a basis for defining strategies for effective use of nutrients. Read More
  • Soil Fertility Management Book of Abstracts

    Soil Fertility Management Book of Abstracts

    The fundamental importance of agriculture in the development of Kenya’s economy cannot be underscored. Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy directly contributing 26 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually and indirectly 27 per cent through linkages with manufacturing, distribution and other service related sectors. It also accounts for 65 percent of total exports and provides 18 per cent and 60 per cent of formal and total employment respectively. Thus, the sector is not only the driver of Kenya’s economy but also the means of livelihood for the majority of Kenyans, in particular, over 80 per cent of the rural population. Evidence has shown that agriculture-led growth in Kenya is more than twice as effective in reducing poverty as compared to growth led by industry. It is estimated that a 1 per cent increase in the sector results in a corresponding 1.6 per cent GDP growth in the overall economy. However, in spite of the importance of agriculture in Kenya’s economy, the sector’s performance has continued to decline with time. Further, the country remains food and nutrition insecure. Several factors have caused the continuous decline in the performance of the agricultural sector including: poor soil health, low adoption of improved soil health technologies and limited uptake and use of mechanized farming practices especially among smallholder farmers, yet soil health research started in 1925 in Kenya. To avoid costly duplication of soil health research in the country, the Kenya Soil Health Consortium (KSHC) compiled soil health research published abstracts for use by researchers, tutors and students in institutions of higher learning in Kenya. Read More
  • Investing in Soil: Cases and Lessons from AGRA's Soil Health Programme

    Investing in Soil: Cases and Lessons from AGRA's Soil Health Programme

    This book documents lessons generated by AGRA and its grantees in implementing innovative projects over the last 5 years. It offers a windfall of lessons for development agencies, governments,policymakers, researchers and other specialists working to improve African agriculture. The lessons drawn from these case studies show incontrovertible evidence of impact at various levels, most importantly for individual households, from the rolling hills of Rwanda to the central highlands of Kenya, and from the semi-arid steppes of Burkina Faso to the southern highlands of Tanzania. Read More
  • Africa Agriculture Status Report 2015

    Africa Agriculture Status Report 2015

    The “Africa Agriculture Status Report: Youth in Agriculture” is the third volume in this series. The 2015 report maintains the original objective of producing an annual series that provides an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of emerging issues and challenges being faced by Africa’s smallholder farmers; the series allows African scholars and development professionals, as well as their colleagues in non-African countries, to contribute practical and evidence-based recommendations and share knowledge that contributes to Africa’s food security. Read More
  • Africa Agriculture Status report 2014

    Africa Agriculture Status report 2014

    As the second in the series of the African Agriculture Status Report, this volume seeks to provide an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of emerging issues and challenges faced by African smallholder farmers, and allow scholars and professionals to contribute practical and evidence-based solutions. The Report documents the effects of climate change on smallholders in Africa, the ongoing adaptation by farmers and livestock keepers, constraints to adoption of climate-smart technologies, and highlights areas where investments in African agriculture have the potential to be most productive. It seeks to help African agricultural policy makers and stakeholders identify climate change issues and challenges, as well as appropriate climate-smart agriculture practices and policies that can help smallholder farmers sustain and improve their livelihoods – that can increase productivity and incomes, enhance adaptation and build resilience to climate change, and reduce GHG emissions by Africa’s agricultural producers and processors. Read More
  • Integrated Soil Fertility Management Training Manual for Zambia's Agricultural Extension Workers

    Integrated Soil Fertility Management Training Manual for Zambia's Agricultural Extension Workers

    This manual is produced by the Zambia Soil Health Consortium to provide remedies to constraints associated with declining soil fertility in Zambia. The rate of soil fertility decline is high due to limited use of organic manures, fertilizers and low adoption of agronomic practices that are cardinal to good soil management. This is leading to low and declining crop yields across all the key agro-ecosystems of Zambia. To reverse this trend extension staff need to be conversant with appropriate soil fertility management practices. Integrated Soil Fertility management (ISFM) has been recognized as an appropriate approach for restoration of soil fertility and increasing crop yields in most of the degraded lands in Zambia. Read More
  • Farmer Field School Facilitator's Module for Rwanda

    Farmer Field School Facilitator's Module for Rwanda

    The Farmer Field School (FFS) is a participatory agricultural extension approach, based on ‘learning by discovery’. The FFS approach was developed in the 1980s by a FAO project in Southeast Asia as a way for small-scale rice farmers to learn for themselves the skills required for, and benefits to be obtained from, adopting integrated pest management (IPM) practices in their paddy fields. In Rwanda it was started very recently in 2009 by IPM Project funded by BTC-Rwanda. Farmer Field Schools are conducted for the purpose of creating a learning environment in which farmers can master and apply specific management skills. The emphasis is on empowering farmers to implement their own decisions in their own fields. Read More
  • Integrated Soil Fertility Management Training Module For Secondary Schools in Rwanda

    Integrated Soil Fertility Management Training Module For Secondary Schools in Rwanda

    An analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) for the proper use of IntegratedSoil Fertility Management (ISFM) undertaken by the Rwanda Soil Health Consortium revealed gaps inISFM understanding among agriculture teachers secondary schools in Rwanda. This implies a need forimproving the capacity of agriculture teachers in secondary schools and institutions of higher learning onthe science and practice of ISFM. It is for that reason, the Rwanda Soil Health Consortium found a need todevelop this module. The module development team was made up of Rwanda University lecturers, ISFMresearchers from the Rwanda Agricultural Board and the International Plant Nutrition Institute. Read More
  • Integrated Soil Fertility Management in Zambia

    Integrated Soil Fertility Management in Zambia

    A holistic approach to managing soils for agricultural use is being promoted as a strategy to improve soil productivity and attain sustainable agricultural production. A key component of this approach is soil health, which takes into account the soil biological, chemical and physical characteristics, in order to optimize returns to capital, labour and other investments. Theconcept of soil health is relatively new and necessary for sustainable agricultural production.This booklet attempts to give a broad overview of some of the main problems farmers face in managing soils for crop production in Zambia. It also provides information on Integrated SoilFertility Management (ISFM) and gives recommendations on practices that have been provento address some of the challenges. Read More
  • Salinity Reducing Food Security and Financial Returns from Rice Production in Rwanda

    Salinity Reducing Food Security and Financial Returns from Rice Production in Rwanda

    Rice is a crucial food crop and source of income for smallholder farmers in Rwanda. In recognition of the great potential of rice in improving food security and household incomes, the government of Rwanda and donors have invested over US$ 10 Million to improve rice production. Patches of some crucial marshlands have started exhibiting stunted rice growth, yellowing and low crop yields of less than 3 tons/ha irrespective of use of the right seeds and good agronomy, hence threatening the rice improvement targets. The visual and lab analysis of soil and water from affected patches linked declining rice yields to salinity suggesting gradual development of salinity in Muvumba marshland. This paper uses Muvumba data to discuss salinity, the indicators, potential impact of salinity on returns to rice production. Read More
  • The Status of Fertilizer Recommendations in Malawi

    The Status of Fertilizer Recommendations in Malawi

    The government of Malawi has made significant strides in addressing food security challenges under the Fertilizer Input Subsidy Program (FISP) resulting in substantial increases in food production. The agronomic efficiency of N has however been poor and is less than half the efficiency that can readily be achieved with good management. As a background to the AGRA Workshop on Fertilizer Recommendations in Malawi, August 2014, this report provides an overview of the status and gaps for the development and dissemination of effective soil fertility management recommendations for Malawi. Read More
  • Boosting Soybean Production for Improved Food Security and Incomes in Africa

    Boosting Soybean Production for Improved Food Security and Incomes in Africa

    Despite growing productivity in many parts of the world,the average crop yields in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) havestagnated at less than 30% of the regional potential.Soybean (Glycine max) is one of the most valuable crops inthe world, due to its multiple uses as a source of livestockand aquaculture feed, protein and oil for the human diet and biofuel. Read More
  • Pigeon peas could work for smallholder African farmers in multiple ways

    Pigeon peas could work for smallholder African farmers in multiple ways

    Over 20% of residents of sub-Sahara Africa are smallholder farmers who live below the poverty line. They are consequently un-able to access sufficient and nutritionally balanced food, proper medical care, education and other basic requirements. Read More
  • Closing yield gaps in sub-Saharan Africa through Integrated Soil Fertility Management

    Closing yield gaps in sub-Saharan Africa through Integrated Soil Fertility Management

    In many parts of SSA, cereal crop yields are estimated at < 1.5 ton ha -1 while the actual potential is more than 5 tons/ha. For grain legumes average crop yields have stagnated at about 0.7 ton ha -1 against a potential of up to 3 ton ha -1. This represents a yield gap of more than 300% for both cereal and legume crops. The low yields are largely attributed to low use of organic and mineral nutrient resources resulting in negative nutrient balances (Jager et al., 2001). These low crop yields have led to increased food insecurity, poverty and malnutrition in most parts of SSA, which are likely to worsen as the population continues to grow. Read More
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Regional Profile

The country level soil health consortia project is an initiative of key agricultural actors to solve the problem of food insecurity and poverty through bringing together all the professionals, industrial actors and market players in the agricultural value chain to consolidate, synthesize and develop effective messages key in revolutionizing agricultural production in Africa. 

The consortia were set up through funding from AGRA on the premise that a lot has been done in Africa, but the actual impact on household food security and incomes is not evident. The East and Southern Africa mandate consisting of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Mozambique and Ethiopia is led by the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI).

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Regional Team

Regional Director
Dr. Shamie Zingore
ProfileThe IPNI sub-Saharan Africa Program is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and has active plant nutrition research and development activities to support sustainable crop production intensification in more than 10 countries in West, East and Southern Africa.

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Upcoming Events


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IPNI Scholar Award


IPNI is a global organization with initiatives addressing the world's growing need for food, fuel, fiber and feed. There is widespread concern for issues such as climate change and relationship...

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The Country Level Soil Health Consortia …


The Country Soil Health Consortia held a planning and training workshop at the Oak Place Conference and Training Centre in Nairobi, Kenya from the 10th to the 13th November 2015...

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International Conference of the Africa S…


Contributing to the celebrations of the International Year of Sils , 2015 and the World Soil Day on 5th December, the 7th ASSS International Conference will be held in Ouagadougou, Burkina...

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IPNI SSA Program Trains Agricultural Sci…


The low adoption of important agricultural breakthrough technologies in Africa is mainly due to poor interpretation of data and inappropriate communication of scientific solutions to non-scientific audiences like farmers and...

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International Year of Soils, 2015


The 68th UN general Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS). The International Year of Soils aims to: (i) Raise full awareness among civil society and decision makers about...

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The Third Consortia Annual Planning meet…


The Country Soil Health Consortia held its second annual planning meeting and training at the Oak Place CConference and Training Centre, Nairobi from the 17th to the 20th February 2015....

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What we do

  • Identify what technologies work under each agro ecological conditions and their social economic feasibility. +

  • Develop effective communication products for raising awareness about effective ISFM technologies. +

  • Build capacity of national organizations to synthesize and harmonize ISFM information. +

  • Establish a consortia of all agricultural actors as the repository of ISFM knowledge in project countries. +

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