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.