Policy frameworks for increasing soil fertility in Africa

{jathumbnail off}soil_fertility_in_AfricaEveryone is agreed that one of the central components of achieving an „African Green Revolution. is totackle the widespread soil fertility constraints in African agriculture. To this end, AGRA – the Alliance fora Green Revolution in Africa – has launched a major new „Soil Health. programme aimed at 4.1 millionfarmers across Africa, with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation committing $198 million to the effort www.agra-alliance.org/section/work/soils).

The Abuja declaration, following on from the African Fertilizer Summit of 2006 set the scene for major investments in boosting fertilizer supplies www.africafertilizersummit.org/Abuja) Fertilizer Declaration in English.pdf). CAADP – the Comprehensive  African Agricultural Development Programme – has been active in supporting the follow up to the summit, particularly through its work on improving markets and trade www.triomedia.co.za/work/nepad/newsletters/2008/issue212_15Feb2008.html#toc1 ).

Other initiativesabound – the Millennium Villages programme (http://www.millenniumvillages.org/), Sasakawa-Global 2000 www.saa-tokyo.org/english/sg2000/), the activities of the Association for Better Land Husbandry,among many others. All see soil fertility as central, although the suggested solutions and policy.requirements are very different..But what are the policy frameworks that really will increase soil fertility in ways that will boost production. in a sustainable fashion; where the benefits of the interventions are widely distributed, meeting broader.aims of equitable, broad-based development? Here, there is much less precision and an urgent need for a concrete debate.

For this reason, the Future Agricultures Consortium has decided to invite a wide range of participants to debate some key issues around the way forward for policy, and associated institutional arrangements.