Impoverished soils and low yields are the bane of Africa’s small farmers. Chemical fertilizers are a critical input. The fertilizer microdosing technology using a bottle cap can boost productivity, improve the tolerance of sorghum and pearl millet to drought and temperature stress and make plant nutrient use more efficient to raise yields.
Precision farming technique developed where a small dose of fertilizer is strategically placed with
seed at planting time
Small packs of fertilizer are sold in community-managed
input stores – linked to agrodealers – installed in villages for easy access to farmers.
The warrantage or inventory credit system set up: Farmers place part of their harvest in a local
storehouse in return for inventory credit to meet pressing postharvest expenses and engage
in dry-season, income-generating activities. The stored grain can be sold later in the year at much higher prices for profit.
This has been implemented in Mali, Burkina Faso,
Niger and Zimbabwe.
25,000 smallholders farmers in Mali, Burkina Faso and
Subsidized fertilizer has been authorized for use on
millet and sorghum farms in Niger and Mali
Village-level input stores were created for
distribution of government-supplied fertilizer in
Niger and Mali
39% of the total cropping area covered
300,000 farmers practising the technique in Zimbabwe
393 farmer’s field days were held (2009-2012); 57,338 participants registered
44-120% increase in sorghum and millet yields
30% increase in family incomes between 2009 and 2012