N2AFRICA is a large scale, science-based “research-in-development” project focused on putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers growing legume crops in Africa.

Legumes bring atmospheric nitrogen into the crops and the soil through a symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria, and they are an important source of protein in a healthy diet. Enhanced productivity of legumes thereby contributes to improvements in soil fertility, household nutrition and income. N2Africa enables African smallholder farmers to reap these benefits through the implementation of effective production technologies including inoculants and fertilizers.

N2Africa links scientific research with capacity building (from farmers to traders, development workers in extension and NGOs), educating MSc and PhD candidates, women’s empowerment, and access to input-output markets through Public-Private Partnerships. A strong network ensures continuous and independent improvement of technologies and market access.

With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, N2Africa has been active since 2013 in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda, and since 2009 in DRCongo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. Focal legume crops are common bean, chickpea, cowpea, faba bean, groundnut and soyabean.

From best-bets to best-fits

The performance of a grain legume and the associated amount of nitrogen fixed depend on the interaction between the genotype of the legume, the genotype of the rhizobia, the environment and the management of the crop and field: (GL× GR) × E × M in short.

N2Africa selects and tests good-potential legume genotypes, does research to identify the best matching rhizobia strains and tries to optimize the management of legume fields. Testing of legume technologies by large numbers of farmers allows for tailoring and adapting legume technologies to specific sites and specific farmers. This results in a set of best-fit principles and options for each project area.


Direct beneficiaries of N2Africa are the farming households with increased benefits from biological nitrogen fixation – such as greater food and nutrition security or increased incomes – and the households benefitting from the network that was built to improve access to information, agricultural inputs and markets. By 2017, N2Africa had already reached more than 600,000 smallholder farmers with improved technologies for grain legume production.

Other beneficiaries are producers of legume seeds, legume-specific fertilizer mixes and inoculants through an increased demand for their product, as well as agro-dealers trading these products. Development project staff and scientists are exposed to new ways of doing science through the ‘development-to-research’ framework, and hands-on capacity building activities.

By working through national systems, training key stakeholders from farmers to traders, development workers in extension and NGOs, and by educating MSc and PhD candidates in each country, we build the capacity that can in the future sustain an independent and continuous improvement of legume production technologies.



N2Africa Map Overview : Core countries (dark green), Tier 1 countries (light green).

     Click here to download the N2Africa Final Report of the First Phase.

Download our newsletter (The Podcaster)


Congress of the African Association of Biological Nitrogen Fixation (AABNF2018), April 22nd-24th 2018, New Beach Hotel, Oran, Algeria.

13th European Nitrogen Fixation Conference (ENFC), which will be held 18-21 August 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden at the München Bryggeriet.

WARNING: A Fake International Conference on Nitrogen Fixation, ICNF London.


   Wageningen University

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Latest News

Title Summary #

This is our first news of 2019 so we hope you all enjoyed a good break and wish you all a peaceful, productive and enjoyable year ahead. We’re now in the last six months of funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Our N2Africa teams in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda have been very busy conducting a large survey to understand the outcomes and impacts of the programme. ...

NoduMax production and sales

During the 2018 rainy season, about 7.2 tons of NoduMax inoculant was distributed in seven countries; namely, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Togo. The product has been successfully registered in Nigeria and partially in Ghana. ...

Photo: A 300 ha field of soyabean inoculated with NoduMax at Kaboji, Niger



New soybean inoculant registration stems from collaboration between N2Africa and Rizobacter
350 Rizoliq Soy, a liquid rhizobia inoculant for soybean with the highest quality standards recently gained approval by local authorities to be commercialized in Tanzania. Behind this achievement is a recent public-private partnership between Rizobacter and IITA Tanzania, mediated by N2Africa. ...
Inoculant production and use in Zimbabwe for the last five years

Zimbabwe has traditionally grown soyabean with inoculation since the 1960’s, particularly in the large scale commercial farms. The country has a government run inoculant production facility at the Soil Productivity Research Lab (SPRL), producing inoculant for a wide range of legumes. ...

Photo: Inoculated in foreground - uninoculated behind the farmers

Inoculated in foreground
LEGUME Technology expanding in Africa

Legume Technology are now in final commercial discussion with FarmAg International to begin commercial supply of legume inoculants across Africa. With initial targets in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Angola, Tanzania and Uganda we aim to have distribution and sales in many more over the coming 2-3 years. ...

Graph: Results from South Africa where FarmAg placed LEGUMEFiX and LIQUIFiX in independent trials against a major brand in the market

An update on Nitrofix in Malawi
AISL begun local production and distribution of Legume inoculant in 2015 following a working arrangement it had with Department of Agricultural Research Services (DARS) in Malawi. From a pilot production of 20,000 sachets in 2015 AISL is now able to produce and sale over 400,000 sachets of legume inoculant. ... AISL new building
Secondary benefits of strigolactones from legumes to control striga parasitism in Kenyan cropping systems
Fig 1 The parasitic weed striga (Striga hermonthica) is able to draw nutrients directly from a suitable host plant such as maize through a haustorium, an underground root-root connection. In regions of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) including Western Kenya, striga can cause up to 70-100% yield loss in fields of maize and other crops...
N2Africa publications

Phenotyping and yield stability studies in soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) under rhizobia inoculation in the savanna region of Nigeria. 2017. PhD thesis by Kehinde Dele Tolorunse

Reports and other output uploaded on the N2Africa website
  • Stakeholder Consultations Report
  • Fourteen MPhil, MSc, MA theses and Internship reports
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