Lilongwe University of Agriculture Natural Resources (LUANAR) in partnership with International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) has started engaging stakeholders in agriculture to bring awareness on the use of fertilizer optimization tool under the Optimising Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA) project.
Head of Crop and Soil Science at LUANAR also a Lead Scientist in the project, Professor Patson Nalivata, said during the Fertilizer Optimization Tool Sensitization meeting on Tuesday in Lilongwe that one of the tools achieved from the project was the development of of electronic and paper optimization decision tools.
“The tools are able to help farmers who are financially constrained to make an appropriate financial decision regarding their allocation to which crops to grow and what type of fertilizers to buy and use,” he said.
Professor Nalivata said the decision will help smallholder farmers to optimize their net returns from their available limited financial resources.
He added that the tools have been tested, finally finalized and are ready for use by farmers, stakeholders and extension staff.
He said the tool will help smallholder farmers to improve their productivity and profitability.
Regional Scientist at (IFDC) Dr Wilson Leornado said the project has come on time when the demand for fertilizer which is key in productivity is now low.
“This project has come on time to accelerate the delivery of fertilizer to smallholder farmers and at the same time respond to increased productivity,” he said.
According to Dr Leornado, the project is implemented in 13 sub-Saharan African countries – Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia where field trials were conducted that resulted in the development and fine-tuning of fertilizer recommendations within an integrated soil fertility management framework to help improve the productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers.