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Integrated Soil Fertility Management Technologies:review for scaling up

  • Michael Misiko
  • Joshua Ramisch

Abstract

It is recognised that smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa significantly depend on land for their livelihoods. Nevertheless, these livelihoods are constrained by inherent low soil fertility. Over a long time, researchers and farmers have battled to arrest soil fertility degradation. Over the last decade, this battle has resulted in the development of integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) technologies. Between 2001 and 2004, Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility (TSBF) researchers and local small-holder farmers in western Kenya have been adapting these technologies to local circumstances under the community-based initiative called Strengthening Folk Ecology (FE). This initiative involved participatory demonstration-trials and dialogue as principal methods in the learning and adaptation process. Follow up studies have been undertaken to identify successful cases of this process. Initial results show that although such cases are few and far between, they are promising and benefits need to be scaled up for wider use by farmers in areas beyond the FE sites. Nevertheless, scaling ISFM technologies is complicated. ISFM technologies are knowledge intensive and their adaptations and applications are diverse. This paper provides insights into this problem by discussing selected ISFM technologies with regard to their inherent scalability

Keywords

scaling up ISFM technologies partnerships 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Misiko
    • 1
  • Joshua Ramisch
    • 2
  1. 1.Anthropologist and a student at the TechnologyAgrarian Development Chair-group of Wageningen University and Research CentreThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Human Ecologist and the Social Science Officer of TSBF-CIATNairobiKenya

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