Agronomy for Sustainable Development

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 545–566 | Cite as

Mineral fertilizers in the farming systems of sub-Saharan Africa. A review

  • Jonas N. ChianuEmail author
  • Justina N. Chianu
  • Franklin Mairura
Review Article


In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), traditional farming methods have led to severe nutrient depletion, low crop yields, and poverty, leaving many farm families disappointed. The situation is aggravated by low use of fertilizers by farmers, lack of policy and institutional support, weak fertilizer markets, farmers’ lack of access to credit and inputs, inappropriate fertilizer packaging sizes, deteriorating soil science capacity, and weak agricultural extension. This leads to a huge gap between the actual and potential crop yields and widespread poverty. Opportunities, options, and innovations are available to turn around this situation and reduce poverty in Africa. We reviewed the status of agricultural soils of sub-Saharan Africa, the factors contributing to their current status, and the existing and emerging opportunities for addressing the soil fertility challenges. The major points are (1) the soils in SSA have continued to be characterized by huge and widespread negative nutrient imbalances and low productivity, and (2) the factors contributing to declining soil fertility in Africa are not abating. The way forward includes: balanced fertilization; input–output market development; improved crop management, and the use of nutrient budgets to inform policy and ensure that farmers and other land managers enjoy the profitable use of farm inputs including mineral fertilizers and agro-minerals.


Mineral fertilizers Farming systems Challenges Sub-Saharan Africa 

Acronyms and abbreviations


African Agricultural Technology Foundation


Agronomic efficiency


Agro-ecological zones


African Development Bank


Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism


Biological nitrogen fixation




Conservation agriculture


Calcium ammonium nitrate


Di-ammonium phosphate


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Free on board


Farming Systems Research


Integrated Plant Nutrient Management


Integrated Soil Fertility Management




Kenya Agricultural Research Institute


Potassium chloride




Ministry of Agriculture


Ministry of Agriculture National Agricultural Laboratories




Nitrogen phosphorus potassium


Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development




Phosphorus potassium sulfur


Public–private partnership


Phosphate rock


Sustainable Community Oriented Development Programme


Sub-Saharan Africa


Single superphosphate


Training and visit


Triple superphosphate


  1. AATF (African Agricultural Technology Foundation) (2006) Empowering African farmers to eradicate Striga from maize croplands. AATF, Nairobi, p 17Google Scholar
  2. AfDB (African Development Bank Group) (2009) Framework for the Establishment of the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM), AfDB, Tunis, TunisiaGoogle Scholar
  3. AFFM (Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (2009) Operational strategy. AfDB, TunisGoogle Scholar
  4. AFFM (Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism) (2010) AFFM newsletter No. 1. AFFM, African Development Bank, Tunis, TunisiaGoogle Scholar
  5. Africa Fertilizer Summit (2006) Africa fertilizer summit proceedings. IFDC, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, p 182Google Scholar
  6. Alley MM, Vanlauwe B (2009) The role of fertilizers in Integrated Plant Nutrient Management, First edition, IFA, Paris, France. TSBF-CIAT, Nairobi, p 59Google Scholar
  7. Ashby J, Harti M, Lambrou Y, Larson G, Lubbock A, Pehu E, Ragasa C (2008) Investing in women as drivers of agricultural growth. World Bank, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  8. Bananuka JA, Rubaihayo PR (1994) Banana management practices and performance in Uganda. African Crop Sci Con Proc 1:177–182Google Scholar
  9. Bationo A (2008) Integrated soil fertility management options for agricultural intensification in the Sudano-Sahelian Zone of West Africa. Academy of Science Publisher, Nairobi, p 204Google Scholar
  10. Bationo A, Mokwunye AU (1987) Soil fertility management of the millet producing sandy soils of Sahelian West Africa: the Niger experience. Paper presented at the workshop on soil and crop management systems for rainfed agriculture in the Sudano–Sahelian zone. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), NiameyGoogle Scholar
  11. Bationo A, Ayuke E, Ballo D, Kon’e M (1997) Agronomic and economic evaluation of Tilemsi phosphate rock in different agroecological zones of Mali. Nutr Cycl Agroecosystems 48:179–189Google Scholar
  12. Bationo A, Nandwa SM, Kimetu JM, Kinyangi JM, Bado BV, Lompo F, Kimani S, Kihanda F, Koala S (2004a) Sustainable intensification of crop-livestock systems through manure management in eastern and western Africa: lessons learned and emerging research opportunities, p. 173–198. In: Williams TO, Tarawali SA, Hiernaux P, Fernandez-Rivera S (eds) Sustainable crop-livestock production for improved livelihoods and natural resource management in West Africa. International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Addis Ababa, EthiopiaGoogle Scholar
  13. Bationo A, Kimetu J, Ikerra S, Kimani S, Mugendi D, Odendo M, Silver M, Swift MJ, Sanginga N (2004b) The African network for soil biology and fertility (AfNet): new challenges and opportunities. In: Bationo A (ed) Managing nutrient cycles to sustain soil fertility in sub-Saharan Africa. Academy Science Publishers, Nairobi, pp 1–23Google Scholar
  14. Bationo A, Waswa B, Kihara J. and Kimetu J. eds (2006) Advances in integrated soil fertility management in sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and opportunities. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 76: 2–3Google Scholar
  15. Bayite-Kasule S (2009) Inorganic fertilizer in Uganda—knowledge gaps, profitability, subsidy, and implications of a national policy. Uganda Strategy Support Program (USSP), Brief No. 8. International Food Policy Research Institute, KampalaGoogle Scholar
  16. Baylies C (2002) The impact of AIDS on rural households in Africa: a shock like any other? Dev Chang 33:611–632Google Scholar
  17. Beattie B, Taylor CR (1985) The economics of production. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Blackie M, Albright K (2005) A lesson learning study of the farm inputs promotions project in Kenya with a special emphasis on public–private partnerships for input provision and possibilities for regional upscaling. Farm Inputs Promotions Project, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  19. Blackie M, Mann CK (2005) The origin and concept of the starter pack. In: Levy S (ed) Starter packs: a strategy to fight hunger in developing countries. Lessons from the Malawian Experience 1998–2003. CAB, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  20. Bouis HE, Graham RD, Welch RM (1999) The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Micronutrient Project: justification, history, objectives and summary of findings. Paper presented at a Workshop on Improving Human Nutrition through Agriculture: The Role of International Agricultural Research. IRRI, The PhilippinesGoogle Scholar
  21. Breman H, Fofana B and Mando A (2005) The Lesson of Drente’s ‘Essen’: soil nutrient depletion in sub-Saharan Africa and management strategies for soil replenishment. Paper presented at the International Human Dimensions Programme Open Meeting, Session on Impact of Land Use Change on Soil Resources. Bonn, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  22. Buerkert A, Bationo A, Piepho HP (2001) Efficient phosphorus application strategies for increased crop production in sub-Saharan West Africa. Field Crops Res 72:1–15Google Scholar
  23. Buresh RJ, Sanchez PA, Calhoon F (1997) Replenishing Soil Fertility in Africa. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication No. 51, Madison, p 251Google Scholar
  24. Bwamiki DP, Zake JYK, Bekunda MA, Woomer PL (1998) Use of coffee husks as an organic amendment to improve soil fertility in Ugandan banana production. In: Bergstrom L, Kirchmann H (eds) Carbon and nutrient dynamics in natural and agricultural tropical ecosystems. CAB, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  25. Carsky RJ, Iwuafor ENO (1995) Contribution of soil fertility research and maintenance to improved maize production and productivity in sub-Saharan Africa. Proceedings of Regional Maize Workshop. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Cotonou, BéninGoogle Scholar
  26. Carsky R, Jagtap S, Tian G, Sanginga N, Vanlauwe B (1998) Maintenance of soil organic matter and N supply in the moist savanna zone of West Africa. In: Lal R (ed) Soil quality and agricultural sustainability. Ann Arbor Press, Chelsea, pp 223–236Google Scholar
  27. Chambers R (1988) Applied production analysis: a dual approach. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  28. Chianu JN, Adesina A, Sanginga P, Bationo A, Chianu JN, Sanginga N (2008) Structural change in fertilizer procurement method: assessment of impact in sub-Saharan Africa. Afr J Bus Manag 2(3):065–071Google Scholar
  29. Conway G, Toenniessen G (2003) Science for African food security. Science 299:1187–1189PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Crowley E, Carter S (2000) Agrarian change and the changing relationships between toil and soil in Marigoli, Western Kenya. Hum Ecol 28:383–414Google Scholar
  31. De Ridder N, Breman H, van Keulen H, Stomph TJ (2004) Revisiting a ‘cure against land hunger’ soil fertility management and farming systems dynamics in the West African Sahel. Agric Syst 80:109–131Google Scholar
  32. De Vries J, Toenniessen G (2001) Securing the harvest: biotechnology, breeding and seed systems for African crops. CAB International, Wallingford, p 208Google Scholar
  33. Debertin DL (1992) Agricultural production economics, Reprintedth edn. Krieger, USAGoogle Scholar
  34. Denning G, Kabambe P, Sanchez P, Malik A, Flor R, Harawa R, Nkhoma P, Zamba C, Banda C, Magombo C, Keating M, Wangila J. and Sachs J (2009) Input subsidies to improve smallholder maize productivity in Malawi toward an African green revolution. PLOS Biology 7Google Scholar
  35. Derpsch R (2008) No-tillage and conservation agriculture: a progress report. In: Goddard T, Zoebisch MA, Gan YT, Ellis W, Watson A, Sombatpanit S (eds) No-till farming systems. World Association of Soil and Water Conservation, Bangkok, pp 7–39Google Scholar
  36. Domburg P, Edwards AC, Sinclair AH, Chalmers NA (2000) Assessing nitrogen and phosphorus efficiency at farm and catchment scale using nutrient budgets. J Sci Food Agric 80:1946–1952Google Scholar
  37. Eicher CK (1999) Institutions and the African Farmer. Economics Program Third Distinguished Economist Lecture, CIMMYT, MexicoGoogle Scholar
  38. Ezumah NN, Di Domenico CM (1995) Enhancing the role of women in crop production: a case study of Igbo women in Nigeria. World Dev 23:1731–1744Google Scholar
  39. FAO (2004) 23rd Regional Conference for Africa. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  40. FAO (2005) The state of food and agriculture. FAO Series No. 36. FAO, Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  41. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) (1989) Fertilizers and food production. The FAO Fertilizer Program. 1961–1986. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  42. FAOSTAT (2004) FAO Statistics Database Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  43. Fermont AM, Obiero HM, Van Asten PJA, Baguma Y, Okwuosa E (2006) Improved cassava varieties increase the risk of soil nutrient mining: an exalte análisis for Western Kenya and Uganda. In: Bationo A, Waswa B, Kihara J, Kimetu J (eds) Advances in integrated soil fertility management in sub-Saharan Africa: challenges and opportunities. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp 511–519Google Scholar
  44. Fixen PE, Johnston AM (2002) Nutrient budgets in North America. pp. 79–85. In Plant Nutrient Use in North American Agriculture, PPI/PPIC/FAR Technical Bulletin 2002–1. Potash and Phosphate Institute, Norcross, Georgia, USAGoogle Scholar
  45. Fortmann I (1981) The plight of invisible farmer: the effect of national agricultural policy on women. In: Dauber R, Cain M (eds) Women and technological change in developing countries. Westview, Boulder, pp 204–205Google Scholar
  46. Fujisaka S (1994) Learning from six reasons why farmers do not adopt innovations intended to improve sustainability of upland agriculture. Agric Syst 46:409–425Google Scholar
  47. Gachene CKK, Kimaru G (eds) (2003) Soil fertility and land productivity: guide for extension workers in the Eastern Africa region. RELMA Technical Handbook Series 30, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  48. Giller KE (2001) Nitrogen fixation in tropical cropping systems. CAB International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  49. Giller KE, Cadisch G, Mugwira LM (1998) Potential benefits from interactions between mineral and organic nutrient sources. In: Waddington SR, Murwira HK, Kumwenda JDT, Hikwa D, Tagwira F (eds) Soil fertility research for maize-based farming systems in Malawi and Zimbabwe. Soil Fert Net and CIMMYT-Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe, pp 155–158Google Scholar
  50. Giller KE, Rowe E, de Rider N, van Keulen H (2006) Resource use dynamics and interactions in the tropics: scaling up in space and time. Agric Syst 88:8–27Google Scholar
  51. Goodlass G, Halberg N, Verschuur (2003) Input–output accounting systems in the European community—an appraisal of their usefulness in raising awareness of environmental problems. Eur J Agron 20:17–24Google Scholar
  52. Hartemink AF (2003) Soil fertility decline in the tropics with case studies on plantations. International Soil Reference and Information Centre (ISRIC). Wageningen, the Netherlands and CAB International, Wallingford, UKGoogle Scholar
  53. Hauser S, Nolte C and Carsky RJ (2006) What role can planted fallows play in the humid and sub-humid zone of West and Central Africa. In: Bationo A, Waswa B, Kihara J, Kimetu J (eds) Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 76: 297–318Google Scholar
  54. Hilhorst T, Muchena F (eds) (2000) Nutrients on the move—soil fertility dynamics in African farming systems. International Institute for Environment and Development, LondonGoogle Scholar
  55. Hillocks RJ (2001) Cassava in Africa. In: Hillocks RJ, Thresh JM, Bellotti A (eds) Cassava biology, production and utilization. CAB International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  56. Howeler RH (1991) Long-term effect of cassava cultivation on soil productivity. Field Crops Res 26:1–18Google Scholar
  57. Howeler RH, Cadavid LF, Calo FA (1976) The interaction of lime with minor elements and phosphorus in cassava production. Proceedings of the Fourth Symposium of International Society of Tropical Root Crops. CIAT, Cali, Colombia, pp 113–117Google Scholar
  58. ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) 1985–1988. Sahelian Center Annual Report. ICRISAT, Patancheru, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  59. IFDC (International Center for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development) (2003) Input subsidies and agricultural development: issues and options for developing and transitional economies. Paper Series P–29. IFDC, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, p 35Google Scholar
  60. Jayne TS, Goveren J, Nyoro J, Mwanaumo A, Chapoto A (2002) False promise or false premise: food market reform in Eastern and Southern Africa. World Dev 30:1967–1986Google Scholar
  61. Jindal R (2006) Carbon sequestration projects in Africa: potential benefits and challenges to scaling up. Earthtrends Environmental Essay. World Resources Institute, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  62. Jiyun Jin, Bao L, Weili Z (1999) Improving nutrient management for sustainable development of agriculture in China. pp. 157–174. In: Smaling EMA, Oenema O, Fresco LO (eds) Nutrient disequilibria in Agroecosystems, concepts and case studies. CABI, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  63. Jones MJ, Wild A (1975) Soils of the West African Savanna. Technical Communication No 55. Commonwealth Bureau of Soils, Harpenden, UKGoogle Scholar
  64. Kanampiu F, Ransom J, Gressel J, Jewell D, Friesen D, Grimanelli D, Hoisington D (2002) Appropriateness of biotechnology to African agriculture: striga and maize as paradigms. Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult 69:105–110Google Scholar
  65. Kang BT (1983) Nutrient requirements and fertilization of root and tuber crops. Lecture notes, root and tuber crop production training course. International institute of Tropical Agriculture, IbadanGoogle Scholar
  66. Kanyanjua SM, Mureithi JG, Gachene CKK, Saha HM (2000) Soil fertility management handbook for extension staff and farmers in Kenya. Kenya Agricultural Research Institute. Technical Note Series 6, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  67. KARI (Kenya Agricultural Research Institute) (1994) Fertilizer use recommendations. Kenya Agricultural Research Institute. Vol 1–22. Fertilizer use recommendation project. KARI, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  68. Khan ZR, Muyekho FN, Njuguna E, Pickett JA, Wadhams LJ, Dibogo N, Ndiege A, Gemga G, Lusweti C (2005) A primer on planting and managing push–pull fields for stemborer and Striga control in maize: a step-by-step guide for farmers. International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology Science Press, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  69. Lerman Z (2001) Agriculture in transition economies: from common heritage to divergence. Agric Econ 26:95–114Google Scholar
  70. Levin HM, Pollit E, Galloway R, Mcguire J (1993) Micronutrient deficiency disorders. In: Jamison DT, Mosley WH, Measham AR, Bobadilla JL (eds) Disease control priorities in developing countries. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp 421–451Google Scholar
  71. Lilienfein J, Wicke W, Vilela L, Avarza MA, Do Carmo Lima S, Zech W (2003) Soil fertility under native Cerrado and pasture in the Brazilian savanna. Soil Sci Soc Am J 67:1195–1205Google Scholar
  72. Lynam JK, Blackie MJ (1994) Building effective agricultural research capacity: the African challenge. In: Anderson JR (ed) Agricultural technology: policy issues for the international community. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp 106–134Google Scholar
  73. Malavolta E, Graner EA, Coury T, Brasil Sobr MOC, Pacheco JAC (1965) Studies on the mineral nutrition of cassava. Plant Physiol 30:80–81Google Scholar
  74. Manlay RJ, Kiaries M, Masse D, Chotte JL, Ciornei G, Floret C (2002) Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus allocation in agro-ecosystems of a West African savanna. I. The plant component under semi-permanent cultivation. Agric Ecosyst Environ 88:215–232Google Scholar
  75. Manning DAC (2009) Mineral sources of potassium for plant nutrition. A review. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 1–14Google Scholar
  76. Manson JB, Lotfi M, Dalmiya N, Sethuraman K, Deitchler M, Geibel S, Gillenwater K, Gilman A, Mason K, Mock N (2001) The micronutrient report: current progress in the control of vitamin A, iodine, and iron deficiencies. Micronutrient Initiative. International Development Research Center, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  77. Mason SC, Leihner D (1988) Yield and land-use efficiency of a cassava/cowpea intercropping systems grown at different phosphorus rates. Field Crops Res 18:215–226Google Scholar
  78. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and human wellbeing synthesis. Island, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  79. Ministry of Agriculture National Agricultural Laboratories (MoA-NAL) (1998) Fertilizer use recommendation project (Phase I): methodology and inventory of existing information. German Agency for Technical Cooperation, National Agricultural Laboratories, Nairobi, p 115Google Scholar
  80. Mokwunye AU (1995) Reactions in soils involving phosphate rocks. In: Gerner H, Mokwunye AU (eds) Use of phosphate rocks for sustainable agriculture in West Africa. International Centre for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development, AfricaGoogle Scholar
  81. Morris M, Kelly VA, Kopicki RJ, Byerlee D (2007) Fertilizer use in African Agriculture: lessons learned and good practices guideline. World Bank, Washington, p 144Google Scholar
  82. Mueller L, Schindler U, Mirschel W, Shepherd TG, Ball BC, Helming K, Rogasik J, Eulenstein F, Wiggering H (2010) Assessing the productivity function of soils. A review. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 1–11Google Scholar
  83. Murwira HK (2003) Managing Africa’s soils: approaches and challenges. In: Gichuru MP, Bationo A, Bekunda MA, Goma HCM, Mafongoya PL, Mugendi DN, Murwira HK, Nandwa SM, Nyathi P, Swift MJ (eds) Soil fertility management in Africa: a regional perspective. Academy Science Publishers, Nairobi, Kenya, pp 293–306Google Scholar
  84. Nair PG, Aiyer RS (1985) Effect of potassium nutrition on cassava growth, yield components and yield. J Root Crops 2:23–28Google Scholar
  85. Nkonya E, Pender J, Kaizzi C, Kato E, Mugarura S (2005) Policy options for increasing productivity and reducing soil nutrient depletion and poverty in Uganda. Environment and Production Technology Division Discussion paper no. 132. International Food Policy Research Institute, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  86. Odhiambo G, Woomer PL (2005) Striga emergence and seed bank dynamics under different maize management practices in Western Kenya. Afr Crop Sci Conf Proc 7:473–477Google Scholar
  87. OECD (2006) Enhancing women’s market access and promoting pro-poor growth: An extract from promoting pro-poor growth-private sector development. OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, ParisGoogle Scholar
  88. OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) (2001) Environmental indicators for agriculture. Methods and results, vol. 3. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, ParisGoogle Scholar
  89. Ojiem JO, de Rider N, Vanlauwe B, Giller KE (2006) Socio-ecological niche: a conceptual framework for integration of legumes in smallholder farming systems. Int J Agric Sustain 4:79–93Google Scholar
  90. Okalebo JR, Gathua KW, Woomer PL (2002) Laboratory methods of soil and plant analysis, 2nd edn. SACRED-Africa Press, Nairobi, p 128Google Scholar
  91. Okalebo JR, Palm CA, Lekasi JK, Nandwa SM, Otieno CO, Waigwa M, Ndungu KW (2003) Use of organic and inorganic resources to increase maize yields in some Kenyan infertile soils: a five-year experience. In: Bationo A (ed) Managing nutrient cycles to sustain soil fertility in sub-Saharan Africa. Academy Science Publishers, Nairobi, pp 359–372Google Scholar
  92. Okigbo BN (1990) Sustainable agricultural systems in tropical Africa. In: Edwards CA, Lal R, Madden P, Miller R, House G (eds) Sustainable agricultural systems. Soil and Water Conservation Society, Akeny, pp 323–352Google Scholar
  93. Olayide SO, Heady EO (1982) Introduction to agricultural production economics, 1st edn. University of Ibadan Press, IbadanGoogle Scholar
  94. Omamo SW (1998) Transport costs and smallholder cropping choices: an application to Siaya district, Kenya. Am J Agric Econ 80:116–123Google Scholar
  95. Omamo SW, Farrington J (2004) Policy research and African agriculture: time for a dose of reality. Natural Resource Perspective 90. Overseas Development Institute, LondonGoogle Scholar
  96. Otieno H, Maina J, Omare MN, Omanya GA, Woomer PL (2005) Field testing imazapyr-resistant maize to control striga in Western Kenya. Afr Crop Sci Conf Proc 7:461–465Google Scholar
  97. Patel BK, Muir-Leresche K, Coe R, Hainsworth SD (2004) The green book: a guide to effective graduate research in African agriculture, environment and rural development. The African Crop Science Society, Kampala, p 248Google Scholar
  98. Pieri C (1989) Fertilité des terres de savanes; bilan de trente ans de recherché et de Développement agricole au sud du Sahara. CIRAD-IRAT, FranceGoogle Scholar
  99. Place F, Barret CB, Freeman HA, Ramisch JJ, Vanlauwe B (2003) Prospects for integrated soil fertility management using organic and inorganic inputs: evidence from smallholder African agricultural systems. Food Policy 28:365–378Google Scholar
  100. Poulton C, Kydd J, Dorward A (2006) Increasing fertilizer use in Africa: What have we learned? Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper 25. World Bank, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  101. Prudencio CF (1993) Ring management of soils and crops in the West African semi-arid tropics: the case of the Mossi farming system in Burkina-Faso. Agric Ecosyst Environ 47:237–264Google Scholar
  102. Quinones MA, Borlaug NE, Dowswell CR (1997) A fertilizer-based green revolution for A. In: Buresh RJ, Sanchez PA, Calhoun F (eds) Replenishing soil fertility in Africa. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication 51, Madison, pp 81–95Google Scholar
  103. Quisumbing AR (1996) Male-female differences in agricultural productivity: methodological issues and empirical evidence. World Dev 24:1579–1595Google Scholar
  104. Reij C, Thiombiano T (2003) Développement rural et environment au Burkina Faso: La rehabilitation de la capacité productive des terroirs sur la partie nord du plateau central entre 1980 et 2001. Free University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, p 80Google Scholar
  105. Roy RN, Misra RV, Lesschen JP, Smaling EMA (2003) Assessment of soil nutrient balance, approaches and methodologies. FAO fertilizer and plant nutrition bulletin 14. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  106. Saito KA, Weidemann CJ (1990) Agricultural extension for women farmers in Africa. Policy Research Working Paper Series No 393. The World Bank, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  107. Samake O, Smaling EMA, Kropff MJ, Stomph TJ, Kodio A (2005) Effects of cultivation practices on spatial variation of soil fertility and millet yields in the Sahel of Mali. Agric Ecosyst Environ 109:335–345Google Scholar
  108. Sanchez PA (1994) Tropical soil fertility research: towards the second paradigm. State-of-the-Art Lecture, XV International Soil Science Congress, 10–16 July 1994, Acapulco, MexicoGoogle Scholar
  109. Sanchez PA, Shepherd JD, Soule MJ, Place FM, Buresh RJ, Izac AMN, Mukwonye AU, Keswiga FR, Ndiritu CG, Woomer PL (1997) Soil fertility replenishment in Africa: an investment in natural resource capital. In: Buresh RJ, Sanchez PA, Calhoun F (eds) Replenishing soil fertility in Africa. SSSA Special Publication No. 51. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 1–46Google Scholar
  110. Sanginga N, Woomer PL (2009) Integrated soil fertility management in Africa: principles, practices and developmental process. Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, Nairobi, p 263Google Scholar
  111. Sanginga N, Okogun JA, Vanlauwe B, Diels J, Dashiell K (2001) Contribution of nitrogen fixation to the maintenance of soil fertility with emphasis on promiscuous soybean maize-based cropping systems in the moist savanna of West Africa. In: Tian G, Ishida F, Keatinge JDH (eds) Sustaining soil fertility in West Africa. American Society of Agron, Madison, pp 157–178Google Scholar
  112. Sayang S, Ajayi A, Sy AA (2002) Proceedings of the second biennial regional rice review. The Africa Rice Center (WARDA), Bouaké, Côte d’IvoireGoogle Scholar
  113. Seward P, Okello D (1999) Rural roads and natural resource management in the semi-arid lands of Kenya, Mini-pac method. SCODP Special Report No 1. Sustainable Community Oriented Development Programme, Siaya, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  114. Shapiro KH (1983) Efficiency differentials in peasant agriculture and their implications for development policies. J Dev Stud 19:179–190Google Scholar
  115. Shapiro BI, Sanders JH (1998) Fertilizer use in semi-arid West Africa: profitability and supporting policy. Agric Syst 56:467–482Google Scholar
  116. Sheldrick WF, Syers JK, Lingard J (2003) Soil nutrient audits for China to estimate nutrient balances and out/input relationships. Agric Ecosyst Environ 94:341–354Google Scholar
  117. Shepherd KD, Soule MJ (1998) Soil fertility management in West Kenya: dynamic simulation of productivity, profitability and sustainability at different resource endowment levels. Agric Ecosyst Environ 71:131–145Google Scholar
  118. Sifri Z, Darnton-Hill I, Baker SK, Bendech MA, Baker SK, Aguayo VM, Bendech MA (2003) A concise overview of micronutrient deficiencies in Africa and future directions. Afr J Food Agric Nutr Dev 2:78–85Google Scholar
  119. Sillanpa M (1990) Micronutrient assessment at the country level: an international study. FAO Soils Bulletin 63. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  120. Slingerland MA, Traore K, Kayode PA, Mitchikpe E (2006) Fighting Fe deficiency malnutrition in West Africa: an interdisciplinary program on a food chain approach. NJAS 53(3–4):253–279Google Scholar
  121. Smaling EMA, Nandwa SM, Presteele H, Roetter RA, Muchena FN (1992) Yield response of maize to fertilizer and manure under different agro-ecological conditions in Kenya. Agric Ecosyst Environ 41:241–252Google Scholar
  122. Smaling EMA, Nandwa SM, Janssen BH (1997) Soil fertility is at stake! In: Buresh RJ, Sanchez PA, Calhoun F (eds) Replenishing soil fertility in Africa. SSSA Special Publication No. 51. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 47–61Google Scholar
  123. Smaling EMA, Toure M, de Ridder N, Sanginga N, Breman H (2006) Fertilizer use and the environment in Africa: friends or foes? Background Paper prepared for the African Fertilizer Summit, Abuja, NigeriaGoogle Scholar
  124. Snapp SS, Nyiraneza J, O’Neil K (2003) Organic inputs and a cover crop short rotation for improved potato productivity and quality. In: Michigan Potato Research Report. Vol. 34. Michigan State University Agricultural Experimental Station in cooperation with the Michigan Potato Industry Commission, East Lansing, pp 139–144Google Scholar
  125. Spiertz JHJ (2010) Nitrogen, sustainable agriculture and food security. A review. Agron Sustain Dev 30:43–55Google Scholar
  126. Stoorvogel JJ, Smaling EMA, Janssen BH (1993) Calculating soil nutrient balances in Africa at different scales. Supra-national scale. Fertil Res 35:227–335Google Scholar
  127. Swift MJ, Shepherd KD (eds) (2007) Saving Africa’s soils: science and technology for improved soil management in Africa. World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  128. Tabo R, Bationo A, Gerald B, Ndjeunga J, Marchal D, Amadou B, Annou MG, Sogodogo D, Taonda JBS, Hassane O, Diallo MK, Kaola S (2006) Improving cereal productivity and farmers’ income using a strategic application of fertilizers in West Africa. In: Bationo A, Waswa BS, Kihara J, Kimetu J (eds) Advances in integrated soil fertility management in sub-Saharan Africa: challenges and opportunities. Springer, the Netherlands, pp 201–208Google Scholar
  129. Tarawali SA, Larbi A, Fernandez-Rivera S, Bationo A (2001) The role of livestock in the maintenance and improvement of soil fertility. In: Tian G, Ishida F, Keatinge JDH (eds) Sustaining soil fertility in West Africa. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication No. 58. Soil Science Society of America and American Society of Agronomy, Madison, pp 281–304Google Scholar
  130. Tiffen MM, Mortimore M, Gichuki (1994) More people, less erosion: environmental recovery in Kenya. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  131. Tittonell P, Vanlauwe B, Leffelaar PA, Rowe E, Giller KE (2005a) Exploring diversity in soil fertility management of smallholder farms in Western Kenya. I. Heterogeneity at region and farm scale. Agric Ecosyst Environ 110:149–165Google Scholar
  132. Tittonell P, Vanlauwe B, Leffelaar PA, Shepherd KD, Giller KE (2005b) Exploring diversity in soil fertility management of smallholder farms in Western Kenya. II. Within farm variability in resource allocation, nutrient flows and soil fertility status. Agric Ecosyst Environ 110:166–184Google Scholar
  133. Tripp R (2006) Is low external input technology contributing to sustainable agricultural development? Natural Resource Perspective No. 102. Overseas Development Institute, LondonGoogle Scholar
  134. Uphoff N, Ball A, Fernandez E, Herren H, Husson O, Laing M, Palm C, Pretty J, Sanchez P (eds) (2006) Biological approaches to sustainable soil systems. CRC, Boca Raton, p 784Google Scholar
  135. van de Steeg JA, Herrero M, Kinyangi J, Thornton PK, Rao KPC, Stern R, Cooper P (2009) The infl uence of climate variability and climate change on the agricultural sector in East and Central Africa—Sensitizing the ASARECA strategic plan to climate change. Research report 22. ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute), Nairobi, Kenya, ICRISAT (International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics), Nairobi, Kenya, and ASARECA (Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa), Entebbe, UgandaGoogle Scholar
  136. Van der Pol F (1992) Soil mining: an unseen contribution to farm income in Southern Mali. Bulletin 325. Institut Royal des Tropiques, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  137. Van Kauwenberg SJ (2006) Fertilizer raw material resources of Africa. Reference Manual 16. IFDC, Muscle Shoals, AlabamaGoogle Scholar
  138. Van Rensburg HJ, Strijdom BW, Kriel MM (1976) Necessity for seed inoculation of soybeans in South Africa. Phytophylactica 8:91–96Google Scholar
  139. Van Reuler H, Janssen BH (1996) Optimum P management over extended cropping periods in the shifting cultivation system of south-west Côte d’Ivoire. Neth J Agric Sci 44:263–277Google Scholar
  140. Van Straaten P (2002) Rocks for crops: agrominerals of sub-Saharan Africa. International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), Nairobi, p 338Google Scholar
  141. Vanlauwe B, Giller KE (2006) Popular myths around soil fertility management in sub-Saharan Africa. Agric Ecosyst Environ 116:34–46Google Scholar
  142. Vanlauwe B, Wendt J, Diels J (2001) Combined application of organic matter and fertilizer. In Tian G, Ishida F, Keatinge JDH (eds) Sustaining soil fertility in West-Africa. SSSA Special Publication Number 58, Madison, WI, USA, pp 247–280Google Scholar
  143. Vanlauwe B, Bationo A, Carsky RJ, Diels J, Sanginga N, Schulz S (2003) Enhancing the contribution of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation in cropping systems: experiences from West Africa. Grain legumes and green manures of soil fertility in Southern Africa: taking stock of progress. Proceedings of a SoilFertNet meeting, 8–11 October 2002, Vumba, Zimbabwe, pp 3–13Google Scholar
  144. Vanlauwe B, Tittonell P, Mukalama J (2006) Within-farm soil fertility gradients affect response of maize to fertilizer application in western Kenya. Nut Cycl Agroecosyst 76:171–182Google Scholar
  145. Wendt JW, Jones RB, Itimu OA (1994) An integrated approach to soil fertility improvement in Malawi, including agroforestry. In: Craswell ET, Simpson J (eds). Soil fertility and climatic constraints in dryland agriculture. Australian Council for International Agricultural Research Proceedings No. 54. Canberra, Australia. pp 74–79Google Scholar
  146. Wiggens S, Slater R (2005) Responding to HIV/AIDS in agriculture and related activities. Natural Resource Perspective No. 58. Overseas Development Institute, LondonGoogle Scholar
  147. Woomer PL (2007) Costs and returns to soil fertility management options in Western Kenya. In: Bationo A (ed) Advances in integrated soil fertility research in sub-Saharan Africa: challenges and opportunities. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp 877–885Google Scholar
  148. Woomer PL, Muchena FN (1996) Recognizing and overcoming soil constraints to crop production in tropical Africa. Afr J Crop Sci 14:503–518Google Scholar
  149. Woomer PL, Martin A, Albrrecht A, Resck DVS, Sharpenseel HW (1994) The importance and management of soil organic matter in the tropics. In: Woomer PL, Swift MJ (eds) The biological management of tropical soil fertility. Wiley, Chichester, pp 47–80Google Scholar
  150. Woomer PL, Karanja NK, Mekki EI, Mwakalombe B, Tembo H, Nyika M, Nkwiine C, Ndakidemi P, Msumali G (1997) Indigenous populations of rhizobia, legume response to inoculations and farmer awareness of inoculants in East and Southern Africa. Afr Crop Sci Conf Proc 3:297–308Google Scholar
  151. Woomer PL, Bekunda M, Nkalubo S (1999) Estimation of banana yield based on bunch phenology. Afr Crop Sci J 7:341–347Google Scholar
  152. Woomer PL, Lan’gat M, Tungani JO (2004) Innovative maize-legume intercropping results in above- and below-ground competitive advantages for understory legumes. West Afr J Appl Ecol 6:85–94Google Scholar
  153. Woomer PL, Tungani J, Odhiambo G, Mwaura FM (2005) Striga management options in western Kenya. Afr Crop Sci Conf Proc 7:479–484Google Scholar
  154. Woomer PL, Bokanga MA, Odhiambo GD (2008) Striga management and the African Farmer. Outlook Agric 37:245–310Google Scholar
  155. Yanggen D, Kelly V, Reardon T, Naseem A (1998) Incentives for fertilizer use in sub-Saharan Africa: a review of empirical evidence on fertilizer yield response and profitability. International Development Working Paper No. 70. Michigan State University, East LansingGoogle Scholar
  156. Zhang F, Wang J, Zhang W (2006) Sustainable use of plant nutrients in China. Proceedings of the IFA Agriculture Conference “Optimizing Resource Use Efficiency for Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture”, 27 February – 2 March 2006, Kunming, China. International Fertilizer Industry Association, ParisGoogle Scholar
  157. Zingore S, Murwira HK, Delve RJ, Giller KE (2007a) Influence of nutrient management strategies on variability of soil fertility, crop yields and nutrient balances on smallholder farms in Zimbabwe. Agric Ecosyst Environ 119:112–126Google Scholar
  158. Zingore S, Murwira HK, Delve RJ, Giller KE (2007b) Soil type, historical management and current resource allocation: three dimensions regulating variability of maize yields and nutrient use efficiencies on African smallholder farms. Field Crops Res 101:296–305Google Scholar

Copyright information

© INRA and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonas N. Chianu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Justina N. Chianu
    • 2
  • Franklin Mairura
    • 3
  1. 1.Agriculture & Agro-Industry (OSAN) Department, African Development BankTunisTunisia
  2. 2.NairobiKenya
  3. 3.TSBF-CIAT, c/o World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)NairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations