Managing the fertility of Africa’s soils: the case for collective action

Collective Action News Issue 10 July 2009In the July issue of Collective Action News, we direct the spotlight into a key aspect of those agricultural systems: Africa’s soils. How can we collectively manage this vital resource? Africa’s soils lose a dollar equivalent of US$ 4 billion in nutrients each year. In the past, single technological solutions were promoted across wide areas, often failing to take the heterogeneity of African soils into account. Today, collective action is developing principles and tools to tackle soil infertility more efficiently, and to enrich the knowledge base of how and where soil constraints manifest themselves in African landscapes and farms. On a continent where 65% of people are directly affected by soil degradation, this has not come a moment too soon.

Our Newsbytes highlight some of the resolutions that experts on agriculture, land and livestock reached at the African ministers meeting in Addis Ababa in April this year. Also featured is the CGIAR Research Map, highlighting the World Agroforestry Centre’s projects – 62 of which tie in with the lead story focus on INRM.

Happy reading and do keep your comments, questions and suggestions coming.

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