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Meeting the Demands for Plant Nutrients for an African Green Revolution: The Role of Indigenous Agrominerals

Abstract

Africa is a vast continent with a tremendous resource endowment and offers great potential for increased agricultural productivity. Africa occupies 20% of the world’s land mass but only 21% of this land is suitable for cultivation. Africa’s soils have an inherently poor fertility because they are very old and lack volcanic rejuvenation. With increased cultivation without adequate application of external nutrients, soil fertility levels decline further leading to low per capita food production especially among the majority of the smallholder farmers in the continent. Fortunately, nature has been kind enough to provide the African continent with abundant supplies of local sources of P, calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulphur (S) and many rocks that contain other nutrients needed by crops. Agricultural intensification would require harnessing these natural resources to complement good agronomic practices, improved seeds, improved input and output markets and vibrant agricultural research programs. This chapter discusses opportunities for Africa to tap into this natural wealth of agrominerals to improve the fertility of the soils and to promote agricultural development.

Keywords

  • Africa soils
  • Agrominerals
  • Rock phosphate
  • Phosphorus recapitalization

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Correspondence to A.U. Mokwunye .

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Mokwunye, A., Bationo, A. (2011). Meeting the Demands for Plant Nutrients for an African Green Revolution: The Role of Indigenous Agrominerals. In: Bationo, A., Waswa, B., Okeyo, J., Maina, F., Kihara, J. (eds) Innovations as Key to the Green Revolution in Africa. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2543-2_2

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