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).
Responding to Fall ArmyWorm (E-conference July 10-12, 2019)
Fall armyworm (FAW) is threatening food security across the Asian continent. How can we stop it? The Sustainable Development Solutions Network is organizing a fully online e-conference on July 10-12, 2019, to discuss this important issue. The event will bring together scientists, practitioners, government officials, and NGO representatives to discuss the FAW outbreak in Asia, effective responses, and innovative ideas to face the challenges ahead.
Click here to download the N2Africa Final Report of the First Phase.
|Allocation of grain legume fodders in mixed crop-livestock systems of northern Ghana||
|Diverse Bradyrhizobia strains can nodulate cowpea in Nigerian soils||
|Enhancing biological nitrogen fixation and yield of soyabean and common bean in smallholder farming systems of Rwanda||
|Genetic diversity and symbiotic efficiency of indigenous and naturalised soyabean root nodule from Zimbabwe||
I carried out glasshouse and laboratory work at Murdoch University, with Zimbabwean isolates of soyabean root nodule bacteria that I collected from soils with a history of inoculation in Zimbabwe. I worked with a total of 137 soyabean root nodule bacteria isolates that were revealed by molecular methods to be drawn from the four species, Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens, B. elkanii, B. japonicum and B. ottawaense. ...
|Genetic diversity of indigenous rhizobia nodulating soyabean in grassland and cultivated fields of South Kivu, D.R.Congo||
We studied the genetic diversity of indigenous rhizobia nodulating soyabean in South Kivu province of D.R.Congo in order to compare the diversity in grassland and cultivated farms but also to identify indigenous rhizobia with potential of increasing soyabean’BNF and productivity. Soyabean (Glycine max) is an important crop worldwide and especially in Democratic Republic of the Congo, promoted since 1990 to deal with high malnutrition induced by political strife (Kismul et al., 2015). ...
|Influence of product bundling on farmers’ preferences to buy soyabean inputs: A conjoint study in Ethiopia||
|Legume Technologies’ adoption among smallholders: Role of ICT market interventions and impact||
|My PhD results’ harvest!||
Nodulation, Nitrogen Fixation and Productivity of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) Varieties as Influenced by Rhizobial Inoculation and Phosphorus Application on Farmers’ Fields in Minna, Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria. 2018 by O.A. Adediran, A. O. Osunde, A. Bala, M. Dianda, H. Ibrahim, O. O. Olufajo and J. A. Oladiran.
|Overview of students that, to date, completed their PhD||
See which nine PhD graduated and find the link to their theses.
SeedSystems blog: Institutionalizing Quality Declared Seed (QDS) Systems in Uganda;
|Reports and other output uploaded on the N2Africa website||17|
|Responses of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) varieties to rhizobia inoculation, phosphorus application and sequential cropping system in Minna, Nigeria||
My study aimed to exploit rhizobia inoculation, phosphorus application, varietal differences and sequential cropping system to improve the productivity and profitability of cowpea per unit area in Minna, Nigeria. Glasshouse and field experiments were conducted between 2015 and 2017. ...
|Sharing project benefits||
|Symbiotic interaction between chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genotypes and Mesorhizobium Strains in Ethiopia||
|The Role of the Integrated Maize-Soyabean-Chicken Value Chains in Sustaining Diverse Diets: the case of Southern Highlands of Tanzania||
|Understanding smallholder farming systems in the Guinea savanna of Ghana for targeting grain legume intensification options||