24 February 2017 – A CABI-led project, Optimising Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA), shared insights on its work in Malawi at a high level workshop in Lilongwe earlier this month (7-8 February 2017).

The workshop was focused on the development of appropriate fertilizer blends for Malawi and covered a range of topics including the role of fertilizers in agricultural transformation, the importance of crop/area specific fertilizers and fertilizer industry trends. It brought together stakeholders from public and private sector organisations, research departments, fertilizer companies, donors and development agents.

Speakers included Dr Pedro Sanchez, Research Professor, Tropical Soils at the University of Florida and Dr Joe Devries, Chief of Agricultural Transformation at the Alliance for A Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Funded by AGRA, OFRA is a partnership between CABI, the University of Nebraska Lincoln and agricultural research and extension systems in 13 sub-Saharan Africa countries. OFRA’s project manager in Malawi, Dr Patson Nalivata, presented at the workshop and the project was acknowledged as an initiative that should inform ongoing discussions about fertilizer recommendations in the country.

Representing CABI at the event James Watiti said, “The workshop was a very constructive meeting with a wide range of stakeholders represented on this important topic. It was particularly encouraging to see participation in the event from the private sector and other soil fertility and fertilizer use research initiatives.”

The two-day workshop included a field trip to Nathenje and Chimbiya trial sites managed by Farmers World Productivity Improvement Programme for Smallholder farmers (PIPS) outside Lilongwe.

The event was organised by the International Plant Nutrition Institute, the Malawi Ministry of Agriculture, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership, Agriculture and Food Security Center-Colombia University and AGRA.

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