Interest in enhancing inputs from N2-fixation legume integration into production systems continues to rise. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced a partnership to improve the quality of soil in Africa through support for the N2Africa initiative. The new grant of US$2M from the Foundation will reinforce activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and enable N2Africa to expand the project to Sierra Leone and Liberia.
In DRC, N2Africa will extend into North Kivu, where we will build on lessons learnt in South Kivu and establish partnership networks towards the identification, evaluation, and dissemination of legume-based technologies aiming at income, nutritional, and soil fertility impacts at the smallholder farmer level. In Sierra Leone and Liberia, the activities will be focused in the first six months on building partnerships through scoping missions and workshops. The primary focus of the project will be on the major grain legumes – namely groundnut, cowpea and soybean, which are the key crop priorities for N2Africa.
"Africa needs a 'brown revolution' to improve soil quality and increase agricultural productivity," said Howard G. Buffett. "Our partnership with the Gates Foundation and our contribution to N2Africa underscores the importance of investing in both soil and seeds as a way to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the world's most impoverished and marginalized populations."