African Plant Nutrition Outreach Fellowship Award Recipients Announced for 2022
Awards of USD $5,000 have been conferred to two African scientists working within innovative soil fertility outreach programs for Africa. This award is part of an on-going initiative co-sponsored by the African Plant Nutrition Institute (APNI), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), and OCP Group.
Below is a brief summary about this year’s African Plant Nutrition Outreach Fellowship Award recipients.
Mr. George Mbyazita Karwani, Agricultural Research Officer, Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Selian, Arusha Tanzania
Area of Study: Establishing and Scaling-Up Site-Specific Nutrient Management Recommendations Using the Nutrient Expert Tool on Maize Smallholder Farming Systems in the Northern Zone of Tanzania
The ability of extension programs to sustainably intensify smallholder maize production at larger spatial scales is limited by lack of appropriate decision support tools. A dynamic and robust site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) approach can help extension service providers and development agencies to provide farmers with reliable and accurate site-specific fertilizer recommendations that can increase yield and profit for these farmers. This study plans to establish and upscale SSNM recommendations for maize smallholder farming systems as a suitable technological package for the Northern Zone of Tanzania. Demonstration trials will be established to verify the performance of SSNM recommendations derived from the Nutrient Expert (NE) tool. Further outreach will familiarize NE recommendations amongst smallholder maize farmers and extension officers as an alternative to blanket fertilizer recommendations. The study’s participatory approach for the farmer managed trials, will involve farmers throughout the planning and implementation process, which will help to ensure high adoption of the technology within the targeted districts.
Dr. Ruth Njoroge, Department of Soil Science, School of Agriculture and Biotechnology, University of Eldoret, Eldoret, Kenya
Area of Study: Experiential Learning on Climate Smart Nutrient Management (ECLINUM) in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya
The Outreach Centre at the University of Eldoret (UoE) offers farmer trainings based on expert opinion; however, improved nutrient management adoption in smallholder systems requires more holistic, practical, and innovative approaches. Farmers need a better understanding of the consequences of improper soil management; soil health concepts focused on physical, chemical, and biological properties; soil testing and fertilizer use; climate change and climate-smart nutrient management; and integrated soil fertility management that embeds agro-ecological principles. This participatory project will implement on-farm trainings via a “Living Labs” approach involving farmer managed field plots demonstrating crop responses to appropriate fertilizer application and other integrated agronomic practices geared towards nutrient use efficiency. A qualitative soil fertility testing tool (QSFTT) is envisioned through transdisciplinary integration of science and indigenous knowledge. The simple decision support tool would provide farmers with a stepwise system of guidance to increase awareness on on-farm soil fertility status, provoke him/her to make the right decision regarding soil fertility maintenance, and increase motivation to seek expert guidance when needed.
For more information on the African Plant Nutrition Outreach Fellowship or our other Award programs see APNI.net/awards