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Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa commits 180M to revive farmers' depleted soils
Date:1/25/2008

Currently, farm yield in Africa is one-quarter the global average, and one-third of Africans face chronic hunger. We know that the use of high quality seeds, combined with the rejuvenation of African soils, can begin to turn around this dismal situation, Ngongi said.

This initiative by AGRA is timely and will help to greatly advance Africas efforts to solve its soil fertility challenges says Dr. Richard Mkandawire, Agriculture Advisor for NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africas Development.

Balanced Approach to Restoring Soil Fertility

AGRAs Soil Health Program will foster widespread adoption of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM). The ISFM strategy involves assessing local soil and water resources and considering how organic matter, fertilizers, farmer cropping systems, and farmer knowledge can work in concert to create highly productive and environmentally sustainable approaches to soil revitalization.

The Soil Health Program was developed not only to boost the yield and incomes of small-scale farmers, but also to care for the soil in ways that conserve the environment, said Dr. Akin Adesina, Vice President for Policy and Partnerships at AGRA.

The methods adopted by farmers will vary according to the nutritional needs of their crops and the deficiencies of their soils. For example, in some cases, soil health will best be improved with increased use of organic matter derived from crop residues, manure, or crop rotation with legumes that can increase the availability of soil nitrogen. In other cases, the restoration of severely depleted soils may require that farmers apply carefully formulated fertilizers, often in combination with organic matter.

Africas agro-ecologies are diverse and farmers practices differ widely across regions. No one size can fit all. We will work with farmers and researchers to develop locally-adaptable soil fertility interventions, Adesina said.

AGRA will giv
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Contact: Preeti Singh
psingh@burnesscommunications.com
301-652-1558, ext. 5722
Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa
Source:Eurekalert

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