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758. Towards Establishing Effective Farmyard Manure Application in Nutrient-poor Soils in Africa

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SATREPS Madagascar


758. Towards Establishing Effective Farmyard Manure Application in Nutrient-poor Soils in Africa

Africa's population is expected to double by 2050, making food security a pressing issue. However, food production in Africa has been slow due to the presence of nutrient-poor soils covering large areas of the continent. Farmers cannot afford chemical fertilizers to increase crop yields, and global prices of fertilizers have soared due to increasing global demand for grains and rising energy prices.
Tropical weathered soils are poor in nutrients, especially phosphorus, which is essential for crop growth. As soils weather, the total amount of phosphorus decreases, and it tends to adsorb to iron and aluminum oxides, which are abundant in tropical weathered soils and are difficult to remove. This results in a lack of phosphorus and infertile soil in Africa.
To improve crop growth on nutrient-poor soils, fertilizers are necessary. However, chemical fertilizers are expensive and not affordable for many African farmers. The most commonly used fertilizer is farmyard manure derived from locally available organic materials. Although the use of such organic materials reduces costs, the quantity and quality of farmyard manure are not stable. Farmers make the fertilizer in their own yards. To increase crop yields, it is crucial to understand the characteristics of manure and where to apply it.
Collaborating with the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar, experiments were conducted in rice paddy fields with nutrient-poor soils to establish efficient application methods for farmyard manure. The results showed that farmyard manure is effective in promoting rice growth by supplying phosphorus, which is lacking in the soil. However, in soils with high iron and aluminum oxides or high pH, farmyard manure application has little effect on increasing rice yield. It is also revealed that pig manure or chicken manure, which contain more phosphorus than cattle manure, are more effective and efficient for making farmyard manure in phosphorus-deficient soils.
Overall, the information obtained from these experiments will be valuable in improving food production in Madagascar and many other African regions where nutrient-poor soils are widespread. Farmers can determine the characteristics of paddy soils prior to rice planting and the type of manure to apply to increase crop yields efficiently.

This research was conducted under the SATREPS Project Breakthrough in Nutrient Use Efficiency for Rice by Genetic Improvement and Fertility Sensing Techniques in Africa (Principal Investigator: TSUJIMOTO Yasuhiro).


[1] Nishigaki et al. (2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-018-3869-1
[2] Asai et al. (2021) https://doi.org/10.1080/1343943X.2021.1908150
[3] Rinasoa et al. (2023) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2023.108906
[4] Rinasoa et al. (2022) https://doi.org/10.1002/jpln.202100266


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Contributors: NISHIGAKI Tomohiro, ASAI Hidetoshi, TSUJIMOTO Yasuhiro (Crop, Livestock and Environment Division)



Mixing and bagging of farmyard manure

Transplanting rice plants for cultivation trials in a farmer's field