2023 Young African Phosphorus Fellowship Award Recipients Selected

Recipients Selected for the 2023 Young African Phosphorus Fellowship Award

Benguérir, Morocco, 2 November 2023 – The African Plant Nutrition Institute (APNI) has announced the finalists of its Young African Phosphorus Fellowship Award.

The two early career researchers who submitted successful proposals will receive $5,000 (U.S. Dollars).

This scholarship is supported through APNI’s continued and valued partnership with Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and OCP Group (OCP S.A.). This initiative strives to encourage scientific programs relevant to understanding and improving phosphorus (P) management in agro-ecosystems. This year’s recipients include:

Project Title: Nexus of Alternate Wetting and Drying Regime and Phosphorus in Rice Cropping System of Tanzania 

Dr. Primitiva Andrea Mboyerwa, College of Agriculture, Department of Soil and Geological Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania 

Dr. Mboyerwa will be investigating the influences of alternate wet/dry (AWD) irrigation regimes and phosphorus (P) fertilizer application on rice yield and P use efficiency. Her study will compare these responses in both upland and lowland rice production systems with study sites in Morogoro (eastern Tanzania) and the higher yield potential region of Mbeya (southern Tanzania).

Phosphorus deficiency constitutes a major growth and yield-limiting factor in irrigated and rainfed rice systems in Tanzania. Most soils in Tanzania are highly weathered with high P sorption capacity and low P availability. Often farmers do not apply mineral P fertilizers which further contributes to a continuous decline in soil P fertility. This research will guide our knowledge for Tanzania rice production through its focus on yield improvement and the development of improved agronomic practices that can increase P availability, improve P fertilizer use efficiency, and encourage the judicious application of P inputs. Results are expected to support the development of best management practices for rice irrigation, fertilizer application and plant breeding technologies.

Project Title: Improving water and phosphorus use efficiency in Moroccan cereal and legume cropping systems using precision agricultural techniques: Electromagnetic induction system, crop imaging, and geospatial modelling. 

Dr. Mohamed Chtouki, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Benguérir, Morocco

The objective of Dr. Mohamed Chtouki’s research is to improve water and nutrient use efficiency from phosphorus (P)-based fertilizers applied to Moroccan cereal-legumes crop rotations. Based within the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Benguérir, Morocco, Dr. Chtouki is interested in the novel application of the emerging technologies of spatial analysis using crop imaging and field mapping, geospatial modeling, and field-scale soil moisture assessment.

Under the arid and semi-arid conditions of Morocco, the impact of climate change on water resource availability and soil quality is more and more emphasized under Moroccan pedoclimatic conditions, mostly characterized by drought and extreme weather events, which negatively impact crop yield and quality. In this context, the development of innovative techniques to improve water and nutrient use efficiency has become a primary research question amongst soil and plant scientists, and agricultural stakeholders. 

This innovative precision agriculture study will help our understanding of the dynamics of water and nutrients in the soil-plant continuum after P fertilizer application, guide P fertilizer use, assess soil spatial variability, and aid in the delineation of crop management zones for Moroccan cereal crop production systems.


For more information on the Young African Phosphorus Fellowship or our Award programs see APNI.net/awards