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    Managing Nutrient Cycles to Sustain SoilFertility in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Managing Nutrient Cycles toSustain Soil Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Edited by

    Andr BationoAfNet Coordinator, TSBF-CIAT

    Academy Science Publishers (ASP)in association with theTropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute of CIAT

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    Academy Science Publishers (ASP)A Division of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS)P.O. Box 24916 NairobiTel: 884401-5Fax: 884406E-mail: asp@africanonline.co.keWebsite: www.aasciences.org

    AfNet-CIAT All rights reserved, 2004No Part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by anymeans, electronically, mechanically by photocopying, recording orotherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

    A catalogue of this book is available from: African Academy of Sciences

    ISBN: 9966-24-075-6

    Typeset in Nairobi by: Hi-Tech Typesetters, P.O. Box 51709 Nairobi00100; Tel: 254-020-3742046

    Printed and bound in Kenya by: Triscope Consulting Publishers,P.O. Box 45306 Nairobi 00100; Tel: 254-020-571796/711704

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    Dedication

    At the African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility (AfNet) scientificcommittee meeting on the 15th December 2002 at Naivasha, Kenya,the committee members decided to have this book dedicated to ProfessorMike Swift and make him an AfNet life member.

    It is with much gratitude that AfNet scientific committee wishes todedicate this book to Professor Mike Swift for his many years ofdedicated service to the TSBF Institute. Mike, as we have popularlyreferred to him, served TSBF and established AfNet as the single mostimportant implementing agent of this institute.

    Professor Mike Swift has been instrumental in career developmentand professional growth of many scientists and academicians on theAfrican continent, and beyond. He is committed to the concept that thefertility of tropical soils is controlled by biological processes and can bemanaged by the manipulation of these processes.

    We all wish Professor Mike Swift and his family a happy retirementand success in all their future endeavors.

    Andr BationoSusan IkerraStephen KimaniDaniel MugendiMartins OdendoMary Silver

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    Preface

    Enormous research has been done within the African continent invarious areas including soil organic matter, soil biota, synchrony andresource integration. All this research is geared towards gaining moreunderstanding on soil processes which have direct or indirect influenceon soil fertility and land productivity as a whole.

    The Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility (TSBF) Institute of CIAT is aresearch programme whose main aim is to contribute to human welfareand environmental conservation in the tropics by developing adoptableand suitable soil management practices that integrate the biological,chemical and socio-economic processes that regulate soil fertility andoptimize the use of organic and inorganic resources available to the land-users. The African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility (AfNet) being anetwork of scientists in Africa is the single most important implementingagency of TSBF in Africa. AfNets main goal is to strengthen and sustainstakeholder capacity to generate, share and apply soil fertility managementknowledge and skills to contribute to the welfare of farming communities.It is a mechanism to facilitate and promote collaboration in research anddevelopment among scientists in Africa for the purpose of developinginnovative and practicable resource management practices for sustainablefood production in the African continent.

    AfNets overall target outputs are:1) To exchange information and combine collective experience of

    professionals in the same field;2) To achieve economies of scale and efficiency by concentrating scarce

    human, financial and other resources on key national and regionalproblems;

    3) To carry out collaborative research through network experiments;4) To minimize duplication;5) To provide increased bargaining power with external partners; and6) To undertake joint capacity building.

    In order to enhance these objectives of collaborative research, thenetwork members were offered the opportunity to participate in aconference that brought together all partners and stakeholders to share,exchange and publish results emanating from their research activitiesin soil biology and fertility in Africa. This book on Managing NutrientCycle to Sustain Soil Fertility in sub-Saharan Africa is a synthesis ofAfNet member research results of the past few years.

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    Soil fertility degradation still remains the single most importantconstraint to food production in sub-Saharan Africa and an efficientcycling of nutrients among crops, animals and soil is crucial to thesustained productivity of the farming systems. Emerging evidenceindicate that there is considerable consensus on guiding principles forintegrated soil fertility management (ISFM) as the more pragmatic andfeasible approach to overcome the limitations of past researchapproaches. As a holistic approach to research on soil fertility, ISFMembraces responses to the full range of driving factors and consequencesnamely biological, physical, chemical, social, economic and politicalaspects of soil fertility decline. The approach encompasses nutrientdeficiencies, inappropriate germplasm and cropping system design, pest-disease interaction with soil fertility, linkage between land degradationand poverty and global policies, incentives as well as institutional failures.Such long-term soil fertility management strategy requires anevolutionary, knowledge intensive process, participatory research anddevelopment focus rather than a purely technical focus.

    After the introduction in chapter 1 on new challenges andopportunities of AfNet, this book is divided in three broad parts. Partone ranges from chapter 2 to chapter 28 and deals with the issues onintegrated soil fertility management. The second part is from chapter29 to chapter 34 and is on belowground biodiversity. Part three, fromchapter 35 to chapter 42 is on participatory research and scaling up ofsoil fertility restoration technologies.

    AfNet recently published a book on Soil Fertility Management inAfrica: A Regional Perspective. AfNet also intends to publish anotherbook on Fighting Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Multiple Rolesof Legumes in Integrated Soil Fertility Management.

    We are grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation for their continualsupport to AfNet and particularly for financial support towards thesuccessful organization of the conference leading to the publication ofthis book. AfNet also wishes to acknowledge the financial support fromRegional Land Management Unit (RELMA) in the publishing this book.

    Andr Bationo

    Preface

  • The African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility (AfNet) ofthe Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility (TSBF) Institute of CIAT

    c/o ICRAF, United Nations Avenue, GigiriP.O. Box 30677 Nairobi, KenyaTel: (254)-2-524755/6; Fax: (254)-2-524763/4

    The Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility (TSBF) Institute of CIAT is aresearch programme whose main aim is to contribute to human welfareand environmental conservation in the tropics by developing adoptableand suitable soil management practices that integrate the biological,chemical and socio-economic processes that regulate soil fertility andoptimize the use of organic and inorganic resources available to theland users. TSBF research basically targets the empowerment of farmersso as to effectively (i) manage nutrient cycles; (ii) manage below groundbiodiversity and (iii) manage ecosystem services, so as to achieve thenecessarry sustainable Agro-ecosystem management.

    The African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility (AfNet) is the singlemost important implementing agency of TSBF in Africa. Its main goal isto strengthen and sustain stakeholder capacity to generate, share andapply soil fertility and biology management knowledge and skills tocontribute to the welfare of farming communities. It is a mechanism tofacilitate and promote collaboration in research and development amongscientists in Africa for the purpose of developing innovative and practicalresources management interventions for sustainable food production.AfNet has membership from National Agricultural Research andExtension Services (NARES) and universities from various disciplinesmainly soil science, social science, agronomy and technology exchange.

  • Contents

    Preface .................................................................................. vi

    Contributors ............................................................................... xiv

    Chapter 1: The African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility:New Challenges and OpportunitiesBationo, A., Kimetu, J., Ikerra, S., Kimani,S., Mugendi, D., Odendo, M., Silver, M.,Swift, M.J. and Sanginga, N. ..........................................1

    PART I INTEGRATED SOIL FERTILITY MANAGEMENT

    Chapter 2: Integrated Soil Fertility Management Researchat TSBF: The Framework, the Principles, and theirApplicationVanlauwe B. ................................................................. 25

    Chapter 3: Guidelines for Integration of Legumes into theFarming Systems of East African Highlands Amede T. and Kirkby R. .............................................. 43

    Chapter 4: Effect of Organic and Inorganic Nutrient Sourceson Soil Mineral Nitrogen and Maize Yields in WesternKenyaAyuke F.O, Rao M.R., Swift M.J. andOpondo-Mbai M.L. ........................................................ 65

    Chapter 5: Long Term Effects of Mineral Fertilisers, PhosphateRock, Dolomite and Manure on the Characteristicsof an Ultisol and Maize Yield in Burkina FasoBado, B.V., Sedogo, M.P. and Lompo, F. ...........

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