Paul Bossuet / ICRISAT

Fertilizer recommendation decision tool

Centuries of nutrient mining on farms in the undulating landscape of Ethiopia has resulted in severely eroded and degraded soils, producing 40% less than the global average. Low productivity, low fertilizer application, declining soil fertility and soil erosion-degradation are just a few of the soil related issues that Ethiopia faces.

Based on extensive evidence generated from 600+ on-farm experiments by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and partners in Ethiopia, this decision tool helps researchers fine tune fertilizer recommendations. The six step approach includes the following:

  • Conduct fertilizer trials
  • Test fertilizer combinations
  • Identify homogeneous cropping management zones
  • Identify zones (Footslope, Midslope and Hillslope)
  • Develop decision support tools
  • Implement GIS -based analysis  

The approach has seen much success within Ethiopia. Recently the tool was adopted by the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research. A task force was created to institutionalize the approach at regional and local levels, widely validated in three major farming systems.