Assessing the Potential to Change Stakeholders Knowledge and Practices on Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa
Harrison Rware1*, Lydia Wairegi1, George Oduor1, Martin Macharia1, Dannie Romney1, Bitrus Dawi Tarfa3, Ricardo de Maria4, George Ley5, Francis Tetteh6, Wilson Makumba7, Mohamed Dicko8, Maman Nouri9, Nabahungu N. Leon10, Brian Gondwe11, Kayuki Kaizzi12, Demissie Negash13, Catherine Kibunja14, Abdillahi Alawy1, Charles Wartmann15, Emmanuel Rutsimba2
1Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International, Nairobi, Kenya.
2Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, Nairobi, Kenya.
3Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Samaru, Nigeria.
4National Agricultural Research Institute (IIAM), Consortia, Mozambique.
5Mlingano Agricultural Research Institute (ARI-Mlingano), Muheza, Tanzania.
6CSIR-Soil Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana.
7Department of Agricultural Research Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Lilongwe, Malawi.
8Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER/MALI), IER/CRRA-NIONO, Ségou, Mali.
9Institut National de Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN), Maradi, Niger.
10Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), Kigali, Rwanda.
11Zambia Agricultural Research Institute, Mt Makulu Central Research Station, Chilanga, Zambia.
12National Agricultural Research Laboratories, National Agricultural Research Organization, Kampala, Uganda.
13Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Centre, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia.
14Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Waiyaki Way, Kenya.
15University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA.
DOI: 10.4236/as.2014.514149   PDF   HTML   XML   4,897 Downloads   5,726 Views   Citations

Abstract

Africa’s fertilizer use averages only 8 kg per hectare per year. Available fertilizer recommenda-tions in Africa are high, and vary between countries. The recommendations are generally out dated, and/or “blanket” recommendations that are not site, or crop specific. Recommendation developed for one crop is often used for another and possibly unrelated crop. CABI and AGRA designed a project whose goal is “to help improve the capacity of National Research Institutions in developing fertilizer recommendations for efficient and profitable fertilizer use in 13 sub-Saharan African countries within the framework of ISFM practices under smallholder farming by the end of March 2016”. Baseline survey conducted in May 2014 targeted scientists, policy makers, extension workers, agro-dealers, fertilizer companies and farmers/farmer organization. Snowballing and convenience sampling techniques were used to get the sample and emails were used to reach the respondents. A total of 416 respondents were targeted but only 219 responded from 12 countries. Out of the 219, 148 were extension workers and researchers. About half (51%) of the scientists are aware of fertilizer optimization tool, and a lesser proportion have used the tool across all countries (31%). Fewer extension workers (31%) were aware of the fertilizer optimization tool and none reported to have used the tool. On average about 5% of the study participants reported that other stakeholders were involved in the development of fertilizer recommendations including farmers, farmer organizations, policy makers, researchers, extension workers, agro dealers, fertilizer companies and donor organizations. Stakeholder involvement was highest in Nigeria at 15%, followed by Ethiopia (13%) and Malawi (10%) but most of the countries reported <5%. There is a general understanding that development of fertilizer recommendations is a multi-stakeholder initiative and therefore need for involving many stakeholders in the development of fertilizer recommendations across Africa that will fosters greater ownership and sustainability.

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Rware, H. , Wairegi, L. , Oduor, G. , Macharia, M. , Romney, D. , Tarfa, B. , Maria, R. , Ley, G. , Tetteh, F. , Makumba, W. , Dicko, M. , Nouri, M. , Leon, N. , Gondwe, B. , Kaizzi, K. , Negash, D. , Kibunja, C. , Alawy, A. , Wartmann, C. and Rutsimba, E. (2014) Assessing the Potential to Change Stakeholders Knowledge and Practices on Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa. Agricultural Sciences, 5, 1384-1391. doi: 10.4236/as.2014.514149.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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