Plant beans to fertilize the soil

“We want to feed the people and feed the soil.”

DESERTIFICATION

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Image credit: Robin Hammond / Panos

  • Beans could help fill Africa’s fertiliser gap

    Speed read

    • Sub-Saharan Africa sees low amounts of nitrogen fertiliser use, which results in low yields
    • The N2Africa project backs the cheaper option of growing nitrogen-fixing beans
    • This has helped to raise average maize yields by at least 40 per cent

    Growing beans - http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2014/01/29/05/31/planting-of-beans-254075_640.jpg Growing beans – http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2014/01/29/05/31/planting-of-beans-254075_640.jpg

    An ongoing project that encourages African farmers to plant beans as food and fertiliser could help counteract the impact of limited fertiliser take-up across the continent as highlighted in a recent report.

    Global use of nitrogen fertiliser is forecast to grow by 1.4 per cent each year to above 119 million tonnes in 2018, according to a report published last week (16 February) by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

    But less than five per cent of that growth will come from Sub-Saharan Africa, largely because fertiliser…

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