‘Fertilizer’ trees help African farmers increase yields

Extension programmes aimed at helping African farmers grow crops more efficiently are showing some good results. Many subsistence farmers are using fertilizer trees to help enrich depleted soils. In many cases, the trees, which fix nitrogen in the soil, have doubled yields of maize. Fertilizer trees enhance soil health by drawing nitrogen from the air and transferring it to the soil through their roots and leaf litter, replenishing exhausted soils with rich sources of organic nutrients. Scientists at the World Agro-forestry Centre have been working since the 1980s to identify indigenous tree species, such as a fast growing variety of acacia that can be planted alongside crops to improve soil fertility. It’s a hopeful sign for a continent battered by weather extremes, famine and record food prices. Read more here.
Summit Voice