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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Soil health

Soil health

Soil is not a lifeless growing medium but a living, dynamic and subtly changing environment.

The health of the soil is massively important to smallholder farmers in developing countries. It means healthy plants and a better yield, which affects food security, income and livelihoods.

Healthy soils are also more biologically active, contributing to a healthy environment, good water and air quality and supporting lives.

We promote efficient and effective use of mineral fertilizer and organic inputs, combined with good agricultural practices.

Our experts produce communication materials, extension tools and run events and training for farmers, extension workers and policy makers.

Felix working in his farm

Felix's story

In our recent Annual Review, we ran a story on Felix, from Kiambu High School in Kenya, who won our competition run through our ASHC programme. He designed a poster which shows how integrated soil fertility (ISFM) can be combined with other practices to make farming more productive and profitable. 

Cracked dry earth

The Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) case study

Soils in most sub-Saharan countries have inherent low fertility and do not receive adequate nutrient replenishment. The Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) seeks to address this. This case study shows how we are helping to build capacity and develop exemplar development communication materials on integrated soil fertility management (ISFM).

Working in partnership to communicate down-to-earth messages on integrated soil fertility management (PDF)

Africa soil health

Poor soil fertility is a key constraint to improving farm productivity and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. It is now widely recognized that increased fertilizer use, integrated with other soil fertility management practises is the way forward. The Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) brings together experts in soil health, and we bring... >>

Optimizing Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA)

Soil fertility across much of sub-Saharan Africa is poor, which is a major constraint to improving farm productivity and farmer livelihoods. To combat this there is now wide recognition of the need to integrate increased fertilizer use with other aspects of soil fertility management. This project aims to contribute to improved efficiency and... >>

Institutionalizing the quality of commercial products

The soil in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa is hampering the production of good quality and plentiful crops. Many new bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides and other agro-inputs have been developed and commercialized but often haven’t been properly assessed. CABI, working with partners, is supporting increased knowledge and information available to... >>

Scaling up interactive ICT to increase agricultural innovation in Tanzania

Despite Tanzania’s immense agricultural potential, farm productivity is hindered by inadequate knowledge and customary practices on farm management. The project Upscaling Technologies in Agriculture through Knowledge Extension (UPTAKE) targets small-scale farmers through geographical mobile and radio campaigns on improved agricultural technologies... >>

Gender and the Legume Alliance

Legume crops play a key role in household nutritional security and incomes but production is in decline. To rectify this, the Legume Alliance is trying to get information about growing common beans into as many smallholder farming households in Ghana and Tanzania as possible. This work will also look at information targeting different gender... >>