Putting nitrogen fixation to work for
smallholder farmers in Africa (N2fixAfrica)

              Ken Giller
              ...
The underlying problem - poor soil fertility
Potential solutions - Nitrogen fixing legumes

Legume green manures




                                           Legume ...
Legume green manures on smallholder farms
       …there are no silver bullets….
How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation
•  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of
   technologie...
Genotype × Environment × Management

            (GL × GR) × E × M
   Where:
   GL = legume genotype
   GR = rhizobial str...
How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation
•  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of
   technologie...
Legume technologies in Western Kenya




  “But what can we use these
  crops for?
The ‘niche’ for legumes
                                               The socio-ecological niche
                        ...
On-farm comparisons of legume technologies




  Chikowo, Mapfumo, Nyamugafata & Giller (2004) Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 10...
Participatory evaluation of legume technologies
•      First choice – grain legumes
•      Second choice – multi-purpose g...
How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation
•  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of
   technologie...
The need for good agronomy


 Groundnut on a smallholder
 farmer’s field in Malawi

 Wide row-spacing means
 the crop uses...
Phaseolus solutions - Nitrogen fixing legumes
Potential beans in the Usambara Mountains, North-east Tanzania




         ...
Phaseolus beans - the major dietary protein




  Legume green manures
Phaseolus beans in the
Usambara Mountains,
NE Tanzania




                          Legume tree
   Legume green manures  ...
Nodule
Morphology




             From
             H.D.L. Corby (1988)
             Kirkia 13, 53-124
Phaseolus - the need for basal fertilizers




                            Legume tree
   Legume green manures       fallo...
Genotype x Environment x Management

           (GL × GR) × E × M

 1. All important, but E × M overriding
 2.  GL can be ...
How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation
•  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of
   technologie...
Impact of ‘MwaSole’, an acid soil tolerant
bean variety in DRC
New improved bean varieties
  contributed to people’s
  liv...
Participatory evaluation of cowpea in the transition
                    Guinea savanna, Ghana




Adjei-Nsiah et al. (200...
Promiscuous multi-purpose soyabeans
Southern Africa
   - Magoye
       (small yellow seed)
IITA Nigeria
   - TGX varieties...
How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation
•  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of
   technologie...
Inoculation trials with Phaseolus
•  No significant effect of inoculation in most individual trials
•  Combined significan...
Variation in
  efficiency of
  nitrogen fixation
  in Phaseolus
  rhizobium
  populations




Anyango, Wilson, Beynon, & G...
How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation
•  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of
   technologie...
Soyabean in Southern Africa
Inoculation responses in farmers’ fields
                            6.0


                            5.0
      Stover yi...
Inoculation responses in farmers’ fields
                            3.5


                            3.0


             ...
Smallholder soyabean in Zimbabwe
Farmers’ demand!

•  From 50 to ~10000 farmers in 3
   years
•  Support with marketing
• ...
Soyabean on sandy soils in Zimbabwe




   Control - no amendments   With dolomitic lime and P
                           ...
Problems affecting marketing of smallholder soyabeans
         Production constraints
                                    ...
Reasons for success
1. Ready market for produce
2. Inoculum available
3. Active extension and farmer training on agronomy
...
Developing markets and technologies


                                                                                    ...
N2fixAfrica - Vision of success
To raise average grain legumes yields by 954 kg/ha in four legumes
   (groundnut, cowpea, ...
Objectives
1.  Establish a baseline of the current status of N2-fixation, identify farm
    enterprises and niches for tar...
Organization of N2fixAfrica
N2fixAfrica – target legumes
West Africa
•  Cowpea, groundnut, soybean
East & Central Africa
•  Common bean, groundnut, so...
Vision of success
Partnership between TLII and N2fixAfrica
 •  No separate breeding activities will take place within the N2fixAfrica.
 N2fi...
Milestones
With thanks to the
N2fixAfrica team




 Prem Warrior, Nteranya Sanginga, Bernard Vanlauwe, Paul Woomer, Abdullahi Bala,
 ...
3 Kengiller N2africa
3 Kengiller N2africa
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3 Kengiller N2africa

  1. 1. Putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers in Africa (N2fixAfrica) Ken Giller Plant Production Systems, Plant Sciences, Wageningen University
  2. 2. The underlying problem - poor soil fertility
  3. 3. Potential solutions - Nitrogen fixing legumes Legume green manures Legume tree fallows Grain legumes Legume forages
  4. 4. Legume green manures on smallholder farms …there are no silver bullets….
  5. 5. How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation •  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of technologies) •  Increase legume productivity – agronomy and P fertilizer •  Select better legume varieties •  Select better rhizobium strains and inoculate •  Link to markets and create new enterprises to increase demand for legumes
  6. 6. Genotype × Environment × Management (GL × GR) × E × M Where: GL = legume genotype GR = rhizobial strain E = environment - climate (temperature x rainfall x daylength etc) - to encompass length of growing season etc - soils (nutrient limitations, acidity and toxicities) M = management - agronomy - seeding rates, plant density (row spacing etc), weeding, - (Diseases and pests are also a function of G x E x M....)
  7. 7. How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation •  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of technologies)
  8. 8. Legume technologies in Western Kenya “But what can we use these crops for?
  9. 9. The ‘niche’ for legumes The socio-ecological niche Climate Labour Economic yield Soil fertility Resource Y Substitution Investment Cropping system Resource X The niche as an ‘n’-dimensional hyperspace The legume ‘niche’ has agroecological and Hutchinson (1957) socioeconomic dimensions Ojiem, de Ridder, Vanlauwe & Giller (2006) Int. J. Agric. Sust. 4, 79-93.
  10. 10. On-farm comparisons of legume technologies Chikowo, Mapfumo, Nyamugafata & Giller (2004) Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 102, 109-131
  11. 11. Participatory evaluation of legume technologies •  First choice – grain legumes •  Second choice – multi-purpose grain legumes •  Third choice – fodder legumes, fodder trees •  Fourth choice – woody legumes •  …very last choice – green manures, cover crops and fertilizer trees •  ‘pseudo-adoption’ due to artificial market for seed of green manures or trees Evaluations conducted in Ghana (Adjei-Nsiah), Kenya (Ojiem), Uganda (Ebanyat), Rwanda (Bucagu), Zimbabwe (Chikowo)
  12. 12. How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation •  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of technologies) •  Increase legume productivity – agronomy and P fertilizer
  13. 13. The need for good agronomy Groundnut on a smallholder farmer’s field in Malawi Wide row-spacing means the crop uses less than half of the available radiation
  14. 14. Phaseolus solutions - Nitrogen fixing legumes Potential beans in the Usambara Mountains, North-east Tanzania Legume tree Legume green manures fallows
  15. 15. Phaseolus beans - the major dietary protein Legume green manures
  16. 16. Phaseolus beans in the Usambara Mountains, NE Tanzania Legume tree Legume green manures fallows
  17. 17. Nodule Morphology From H.D.L. Corby (1988) Kirkia 13, 53-124
  18. 18. Phaseolus - the need for basal fertilizers Legume tree Legume green manures fallows
  19. 19. Genotype x Environment x Management (GL × GR) × E × M 1. All important, but E × M overriding 2.  GL can be improved by adaptive breeding for nitrogen fixation 3.  GR can be improved by strain screening and inoculation
  20. 20. How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation •  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of technologies) •  Increase legume productivity – agronomy and P fertilizer •  Select better legume varieties
  21. 21. Impact of ‘MwaSole’, an acid soil tolerant bean variety in DRC New improved bean varieties contributed to people’s livelihoods, especially:  in securing food availability  purchasing building materials  paying health care & school fees  buying domestic animals  hiring labor IMMACULEE Mwa NYAMIHINI 
  22. 22. Participatory evaluation of cowpea in the transition Guinea savanna, Ghana Adjei-Nsiah et al. (2008) Nut. Cyc. Agroecosyst. 80, 199-209.
  23. 23. Promiscuous multi-purpose soyabeans Southern Africa - Magoye (small yellow seed) IITA Nigeria - TGX varieties (large white seed)
  24. 24. How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation •  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of technologies) •  Increase legume productivity – agronomy and P fertilizer •  Select better legume varieties •  Select better rhizobium strains and inoculate
  25. 25. Inoculation trials with Phaseolus •  No significant effect of inoculation in most individual trials •  Combined significant 10% yield increase with inoculation across 30+ trials combined Amijee, F. & Giller, K.E. (1998) African J. Crop Sci., 6, 159-169. Giller, K.E., Amijee, F., Brodrick, S.J., & Edje, O.T. (1998) African J. Crop Sci., 6, 171-178. Smithson, J.B., Edje, O.T., & Giller, K.E. (1993) J. Agric. Sci. Camb., 120, 233-240.
  26. 26. Variation in efficiency of nitrogen fixation in Phaseolus rhizobium populations Anyango, Wilson, Beynon, & Giller (1995) App. Env.Microbiol. 61, 4016-4021.
  27. 27. How to increase the inputs from N2-fixation •  Increase the area of land cropped with legumes (targeting of technologies) •  Increase legume productivity – agronomy and P fertilizer •  Select better legume varieties •  Select better rhizobium strains and inoculate •  Link to markets and create new enterprises to increase demand for legumes
  28. 28. Soyabean in Southern Africa
  29. 29. Inoculation responses in farmers’ fields 6.0 5.0 Stover yield (t/ha) 4.0 Uninoculated 3.0 Inoculated 2.0 1.0 0.0 Magoye Local Roan Nyala Sonata Solitaire Kasasa, Mpepereki & Giller (unpublished)
  30. 30. Inoculation responses in farmers’ fields 3.5 3.0 2.5 Grain yield (t/ha) 2.0 Uninoculated Inoculated 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 Magoye Local Roan Nyala Sonata Solitaire Kasasa, Mpepereki & Giller (unpublished)
  31. 31. Smallholder soyabean in Zimbabwe Farmers’ demand! •  From 50 to ~10000 farmers in 3 years •  Support with marketing •  Men interested in cash, women in nutrition •  Interested in all varieties - ‘promiscuous’ or inoculated •  Uses for cash, food, fodder and soil fertility
  32. 32. Soyabean on sandy soils in Zimbabwe Control - no amendments With dolomitic lime and P (0.5 t/ha) (12.5 kg/ka)
  33. 33. Problems affecting marketing of smallholder soyabeans Production constraints Traders’ uncertainty Low volumes High transaction costs Small scale, scattered production High margins, low profits Poor information Poor communications High transport costs Lack of trader capital Low farm prices Few traders Farmers’ uncertainty Lack of competition Trader opportunism Rusike, Sukume, Dorward, Mpepereki & Giller (1999)
  34. 34. Reasons for success 1. Ready market for produce 2. Inoculum available 3. Active extension and farmer training on agronomy and inoculum use 4. Demonstration of processing led to home consumption 5. Benefits of fodder and soil fertility also important
  35. 35. Developing markets and technologies C D Strong Institutional Development A B Weak Weak Strong Technology Development Modified from Dorward, Kydd and Poulton (1998) Smallholder Cash Crop Production under Market Liberalisation: A New Institutional Economics Perspective. CAB International, Wallingford.
  36. 36. N2fixAfrica - Vision of success To raise average grain legumes yields by 954 kg/ha in four legumes (groundnut, cowpea, soybean, and common bean), increase average biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) by 46 kg/ha, and increase average household income by $465, directly benefiting 225,000 households (1,800,000 individuals) in eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa (DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe). Indeed, this project links the protein and nitrogen needs of poor African farmers directly to previously inaccessible, massive atmospheric reserves, provides them with new income-generating crop production enterprises, presents a mechanism of renewable soil fertility management and opens the door to the adoption of numerous, profitable accompanying farm technologies and value-adding enterprises.
  37. 37. Objectives 1.  Establish a baseline of the current status of N2-fixation, identify farm enterprises and niches for targeting N2-fixing legumes in the impact zones, and establish mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and impact assessment 2.  Identify and field-test multi-purpose legumes providing food, animal feed, structural materials and high quality crop residues for enhanced N2-fixation and integrate improved varieties into farming systems 3.  Collect and characterize superior rhizobia strains for enhanced N2- fixation and develop inoculum production capacity in sub-Saharan Africa through collaboration with private sector partners 4.  Deliver legumes, inoculant technologies and associated N2-fixation technologies to farmers throughout sub-Saharan Africa 5.  Develop and strengthen capacity for N2-fixation research, technology development, and application
  38. 38. Organization of N2fixAfrica
  39. 39. N2fixAfrica – target legumes West Africa •  Cowpea, groundnut, soybean East & Central Africa •  Common bean, groundnut, soybean Southern Africa •  Common bean, cowpea, groundnut, soybean Throughout all regions •  Legume forages
  40. 40. Vision of success
  41. 41. Partnership between TLII and N2fixAfrica •  No separate breeding activities will take place within the N2fixAfrica. N2fixAfrica will screen for nodulation and N2-fixation ability. •  Project leaders from TL-II and N2fixAfrica will develop a joint implementation plan and attend each others’ annual planning meetings •  N2fixAfrica will develop a protocol of methods for breeding conditions to ensure optimal selection for N2-fixing ability (no N fertilizer, rhizobial inoculation, adequate P availability etc). •  N2fixAfrica will provide advice on methods for routine screening for N2- fixation. •  N2fixAfrica will test elite rhizobial strains with the selected varieties to identify appropriate rhizobial strains for scaling-up as inoculants. •  TL-II will advise on seed multiplication approaches. •  N2fixAfrica will provide inoculants of elite rhizobial strains for use in breeding and seed multiplication.
  42. 42. Milestones
  43. 43. With thanks to the N2fixAfrica team Prem Warrior, Nteranya Sanginga, Bernard Vanlauwe, Paul Woomer, Abdullahi Bala, Mariangela Hungria, Beatrice, Anyango, Joseph Fening, Didier Lesueur, Robert Abaidoo, Hailu Tefera, Felix Dakora, Paul Kimani, Paramu Mafongoya, Endalkachew Wolde-Meskel, Diouf Diegane, Mahamadi Dianda, Mazvita Murwira, Tsedeke Abate, Andre Bationo, Mark Peoples, Peter Graham, John Howieson
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