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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

African soil health case study

African soil health case study

Poor soil fertility is a key constraint to improving farm productivity and farmer livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. Due to poor availability of fertilizer, there is an emphasis on biological ways to improve soil fertility, and there is now wide recognition of the need to integrate increased fertilizer use with other aspects of soil fertility management.

Dry earth

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

Soils in most sub-Saharan countries have inherently 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).

poor soil

We earn a satisfaction rating of 80%

We produce materials that are appropriate for farmers and run write-shops that incorperate content from scientists and feedback from farms. Once our materials are produced and distributed, a post-wite survey is run and recent results showed a client satisfaction rating of over 80%.

Frank Sakula, a farmer from Isanjiro village

Handbook is key resource in 17 countries

Our Integrated Soil Fertitlity Management (ISFM) handbook is an extensive technical manual that covers ISFM practise and policy across Africa. NGO's, research organizations and universities have all adopted this handbook as a key resource. 2,800 copies have been distributed to over 33 organizations.   


Our project has 43 partners in Africa

Our project, the African Soil Health Consortium (ASHC), is still in the early stages of development and is still investigating different types of media to find the most effective way to reach audiences. In the future, we want to reach those with low-literacy, especially marginalized communities. Through working with 43 partners across Africa, the project team have produced 130 farmer-friendly products so far.


The African soil health consortium focuses on trying to communicate efficently with smallholder farmers by providing down-to-earth information on smart farming. Through doing this, we can help local farmers learn simple, effective methods of crop production that will sustain generations.

The project is constantly evolving to try and satisfy the needs of all those who require advice on soil fertility. CABI is currently looking to reduce the gender gap in seed production by focusing on educating women in particular.

For more news on the progression of the project, visit the Afican Soil Health (ASHC) website.

It is through improving the quality of soil that people that can increase their yield which enables them to provide for themselves and their family.

ASHC commissioned a cartoon strip called 'Malkia saves the seed' which was published by a youth media magazine called Shujaaz. The comic was developed by double Emmy Award winning, social communications consultancy, Well Told Story.

malkia saves the seed cartoon

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... >>

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... >>