Prospects for integrated soil fertility management using organic and inorganic inputs: evidence from smallholder African agricultural systems

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This paper reviews current organic nutrient management practices and their integration with mineral fertilizers in Sub-Saharan Africa with a view to understanding the potential impacts on a range of input markets. A number of different organic nutrient management practices have been found to be technically and financially beneficial, but they differ considerably as to their effectiveness and resource requirements. A review of African smallholder experiences with integrated soil fertility management practices finds growing use, both indigenously and through participation in agricultural projects. Patterns of use vary considerably across heterogeneous agroecological conditions, communities and households, but are stimulated by profitable commercially oriented agricultural opportunities. The potential for integrated soil fertility management to expand markets for organic inputs, labor, credit, and fertilizer is explored. We found that there are few direct analyses of these links and the current indirect evidence is inconclusive.



Soil nutrients, Green manure crops, Soil management, Arid zones, Soil fertility, Small-scale farming, Low input agriculture, Soil, Manure, Farming systems, Nutrient management, Soil organic matter, Fertilization, Integrated soil fertility management, Inputs, Field Scale


Food Policy 28(2003): 365-378