Russell Yost

We are deeply interested in improving and assisting address the serious mining of nutrients and carbon in Sub-Saharan Africa. We are just concluding some research into providing ways to address the extremely tenuous supply of nutrients, especially in the Sahel of West Africa where the majority of the inhabitants are living on the brink of famine.

Two types of interventions are needed in our view: one that addresses the inherent problems with the loss of the meagre, irregular rainfall and the other that improves soil properties so that capture and harvesting of water is improved.

A recent paper describing the increased crop yields can be found at:
– Gigou, J., Kalifa Traoré, François Giraudy, Harouna Coulibaly, Bougouna Sogoba, Mamadou Doumbia. 2006. Aménagement paysan des terres et réduction du ruissellement dans les savanes africaines. Cahiers Agricultures vol. 15, n° 1, janvier-février 2006 Vol. 15.

A subsequent paper describing the water-harvesting properties of the technology – the water capture and increased retention of surface water for crops, subsoil water for trees, and deep drainage for groundwater restoration can be found at:
– Kablan, R., R.S. Yost, K. Brannan, M. Doumbia, K. Traore, A. Yorote, Y. Toloba, S. Sissoo, O. Samake, M. Vaksman, L. Dioni, and M. Sissoko.
2008. “Amenagement en courbes de niveau”, increasing rainfall capture, storage, and drainage in soils of Mali. Arid Lands Research and Management 22:62-80.

A third paper is soon to appear in Agronomy for Sustainable Development reports on the C sequestration and build up potential of the ACN technology and the increased fertilizer efficiency is announced at:

In the broadest sense, SFI arguably includes inorganic fertilizers, organic amendments and natural resource management practices.

When I was a student in Agricultural Economics at the University of Nairobi a fellow graduate student from another department once asked me in puzzlement the following question in response to my assertion that many poor farmers lack incentives for fertilizer use: ‘’What other incentive is anyone looking for than the ability to grow enough food for one’s family without having to buy it?’’ The answer that readily came to my mind was: ‘’Yes that is a powerful incentive but at what cost?’’

Russell Yost, Dep. Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences
University of Hawai`i at Manoa