The country level soil health consortia project is an initiative of key agricultural actors to solve the problem of food insecurity and poverty through bringing together all the professionals, industrial actors and market players in the agricultural value chain to consolidate, synthesize and develop effective messages key in revolutionizing agricultural production in Africa.
The consortia were set up through funding from AGRA on the premise that a lot has been done in Africa, but the actual impact on household food security and incomes is not evident. The East and Southern Africa mandate consisting of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Mozambique and Ethiopia is led by the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI). As the lead institution, IPNI is using its long term experience in plant nutrition and communication to provide technical backstopping to the entire country specific consortium through training, support and monitoring and evaluation.You can write your auto collapsible text here.
In contrast to other parts of the world, food crop yields in sub-Sahara Africa have stagnated at approximately 1 ton/ha over the last 5 decades. Efforts to solve this problem have focused on the development of various Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) technologies adapted to smallholder farming systems in SSA. Research trials have demonstrated opportunities for doubling and tripling yields of both cereals and legumes when appropriate ISFM technologies suited to site-specific conditions are used. Despite the potential of ISFM technologies to improve crop productivity in SSA, adoption by farmers has been very limited leading to wastage of investments and continuity of food insecurity and poverty cycles. The underlying challenges include poor coordination of research activities and protocols, poor integration and consolidation of existing knowledge and lack of effective ISFM communication products for farmers’, extension agents, policy makers and other stakeholders. In recognition of these challenges, in 2013 AGRA provided grants for establishment of the East and Southern Africa Consortia and the West Africa Soil Health Consortia. The East and Southern Africa Consortia is led by the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and is made up of 8 countries i.e. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Zambia. The West Africa Consortia is led by IITA and is made up of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria and Ghana.