Farming systems in Ethiopia are plagued by soil-related problems which lead to poor productivity, declining soil fertility and soil erosion. Other common farming-related challenges include low fertilizer use and reduced farmlands because of population pressure.
Africa RISING is implementing action research with farmers in Babati District, Tanzania to validate several technologies that are set to significantly improve farmer livelihoods. Here is a look at summaries of some of these technologies and how they work.
In Babati District, northern Tanzania, a popular but misleading myth persists. That use of inorganic fertilizer ‘kills’ the soil. For several years, majority of farmers in the district have desisted from use of fertilizer to replenish depleted soil nutrients. Africa RISING researchers have for the past five years, invested significant resources and effort to dispel this myth.
How switching to improved agricultural technologies like hybrid maize varieties and application of bladed fertilizers catalyzed a young female farmer’s dramatic rise from an off-season casual laborer to a champion farmer in rural Tanzania.
A higher rate of nitrogen application provides higher economic benefit to farmers compared to the government recommended rate. There are visible differences between six maize varieties commonly grown in northern Ghana (used in this experiment) in terms of performance under higher fertilizer rate.
A one day national workshop on decision support tools for appropriate fertilizer recommendation in Ethiopia was organized at ILRI campus on 18 December 2015.
Farmers know that soil is a precious commodity. But in Babati District, northern Tanzania, a long held belief that mineral fertilizers spoils soils is preventing them from making informed decisions on how best to keep their soils healthy and increase their yields.Researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Selian Agriculture.Research Institute (SARI) are investigating best-bet fertilizer options and agronomic practices for maize in the region as part of the USAID-funded Africa RISING program. Their work is challenging local beliefs and changing attitudes.
Maize is an important cereal crop in Ghana, especially in the northern part where it is replacing sorghum and millet. High yielding, drought and Striga tolerant varieties have recently been released.
Small scale farmers are the guardians of 80 per cent of the world’s farmland. If we are to resolve the global soil crisis, they must be at the heart of the solutions.
Under the SIMLEZA-Africa RISING project, the implementation of conservation agriculture technologies is a key intervention. For just the past 2 years, the project has already seen positive outcomes on the practices and lives of its farmer-beneficiaries in its target communities in the Eastern Province of Zambia. Here we highlight one of our farmer ‘success stories’ who have been practicing CA technologies introduced in the country by the project.
Fertilizer microdosing addresses the problems of low soil fertility, access to fertilizers and difficult climatic conditions. The technology has contributed to increased production, productivity and farm incomes.
The strongly held but wrong perception among farmers in Babati District that use of mineral fertilizers destroys the soil is a major cause of the low crop yield in the district.
In May this year, the Africa RISING team in Tanzania held several field days with farmers in Kongwa district.
Meet Africa RISING model farmer Andre Mayi from Babati District in Tanzania.
Inorganic fertilizers have a bad name in Babati (Tanzania) and are accused of ruining soils. Dispelling this myth and urging farmers to use them to boost their production was one of the key messages at a Farmers’ Field Day held in Babati District, 21 – 22 May 2014.