Soil Management Network


moderated by Yelleka de Nooy van Tol

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 22 hours 32 min ago

Indigenous Agroecology in Konso, Ethiopia

In Konso, communities have been terracing for over 600 years. The steep hillsides of Konso are sculpted by generations of human hands that have carefully laid stones in line with the natural horizontal contours designed to catch and keep the soil and water necessary for viable hilltop agriculture. Agroforestry has been combined with other forms of intercropping to keep the terraces in-tact, the soils fertile, and diversified nutrition available year round: For example, perennials like cassava are planted at the top of the stone terraces to support the terrace structure with their roots; in the cups of soil between terrace walls, crops such as beans, maize and sorghum are planted amongst one another; trees such as coffee, moringa, acacia, and terminalia are interspersed at greater distance along the terraces.

In addition to formation of terraces, various other water management techniques are actively used. To catch and sink runoff, circ

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

Call for Application: Geodata for Agriculture and Water

The Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) Facility is a grant programme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It falls under the policy priority of food security, which focuses on increasing and enhancing sustainable food production as well as achieving more efficient agricultural water use, particularly in irrigated areas and water basins in the G4AW partner countries.

Administrative rules have been published in the Dutch Government Gazette (Staatscourant No. 13493, March 17, 2017)


The available budget for the G4AW call of 2017-2018 is 19.8 million euro.

Application period

Requests for an advisory opinion can be submitted from 15 April to 15 June 2017.

Applications may be submitted until 15:00 CET on 14 September 2017. If the application is submitted less than two weeks before the deadline of 14 September 2017, the applicant runs the risk that, if it is incomplete, the Minister will not use his or her discretionary powers

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Unlocking the Potential of Ethiopian Soils for the SDGs

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
  30 March 2017 - 09:00 to 31 March 2017 - 17:00
  EIAR, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

Annual conference of the Ethiopian Society of Soil Science. Event open to old and first-time dues paying members.

Posted By in AgriProFocus Kenya
Posted 1 month 3 weeks ago

Link Between Soil Fertility and Hay Yields

Blog by Anne Munene

Agriculture evolved and continues to evolve on the basis of man deliberately modifying nature to feed and economically sustain himself.

Modification of nature started with such benign acts such as planting seeds instead of waiting for natural seed dispersal and use of irrigation instead of relying on rain fed farming.

Against an increasing human population and diminishing natural resources, science has stepped in to advance modifications of nature with examples such as plant breeding instead of waiting for the Darwinian natural selection – which would eventually happen, only that it would take a very long time.

Other easy to identify modifications of nature are the use of green houses, intensive livestock feeding e.g. zero-grazing.

However, modification of nature without appropriate counter balances and safe guards can be a limiting factor in the advancement of agriculture. For example, while zero-grazing allows farmers to k

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Janine Schoeman Hi Anne Munene, I have shared your blog on the platform. You can share your upcoming blogs this way in the future. Please use your entire blog or a part of your blog (with enough information to make it interesting to read) on the platform. You can use tags for the subjects of the blog and link to your website. If you have any questions about this please let me know or visit our page with FAQ: Kind Regards Janine

1 month 3 weeks ago

Posted By in Soil Management Network
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

Monpellier Panel Report on Soils in Africa

About Ethiopian Soils it says the following:


Total land area:1.13million km2

Average fertiliser use:17 kg/ha

Degraded land area:26%

People affected: 21 million, equal to 29% of the population

Hotspot characteristics: high population pressure on land and forests, farming on steep slopes and frequent food crises caused by unreliable rainfall

Loss of topsoil: one billion tons annually

Soil productivity losses: at least 20% over the last century in large parts of the country


Soil erosion and nutrient loss from farming and grazing: $106 million

Deforestation: $23 million

Loss of livestock capacity: $10 million

Total: $139 million or equivalent to 4% of GDP

You can read the whole Montpellier Report here:

Posted By in AgriProFocus Benin
Posted 4 months 4 days ago

Hai, my name is Femke and I'm 16 years old. I'm making a report for school with three fellow students. Our report is about a project we came up with. By using a technique that's based on a process you see in nature, you can create a podzol layer under farmland. This a layer that is less permeable for water. This way farmers need less water for the same profit. But we're having some difficulties with the economic part of the project. So I contacted Unicef and they recommended that I go ask for help here. So here I am. I'm looking for someone that can answer some of our questions about the life on the countryside in developing countries. For example, about how the land is divided and if farmers rent a lot or they all have there own land. these are the kind of questions we're dealing with. For our project we're focussing on Burkina Faso. But if you know something about a different country that's kinda alike it would be very helpful as well. If you can help us, please contact me. 

Janine Schoeman Hi Femke, not sure if the posting in Ethiopia was with a certain intention but I have amended your post so it's posted in Mali, Niger and Benin as those countries border with Burkina Faso. Good Luck!

3 months 2 weeks ago

Tania Attiba Hi Femke, i think that we can help you in Benin.  Our contact is  : &

3 months 2 weeks ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 4 months 2 weeks ago

New fertiliser plant in Ethiopia by OCP (investor from Morocco)

Article in Financial Times about a $3.7bn OCP investment from Morocco in Ethiopia.

Morocco’s Office Cherifien des Phosphates, the world’s largest phosphate exporter, has signed a deal with Ethiopia to build a $3.7bn fertiliser plant in the east African country. 

OCP, which is 95 per cent state-owned, said the deal was among the largest joint ventures in Africa between two developing economies and would create one of the world’s largest fertiliser facilities, with an initial capacity of 2.5m tonnes.


Posted By in Healthy Soils for Healthy Life
Posted 6 months 2 weeks ago

Soil Health Insights from the 2015 Ethiopian Soil Campaign

This detailed report (available for download in the PDF attached) provides an overview of the major soil health concepts discussed during the 2015 Ethiopian Soil Campaign, techniques in soil management shared, and contacts for actors that shared knowledge and experience in different soil management practices during the campaign.

We hope that this report will serve as a basic reference for soil health concepts, and as a directory for contacting knowledgeable actors in different regions. With the help of this document, users might both improve their soil management work, and also to organize their efforts in greater synergy with other actors for greater collective impact in the area of soil health and fertility.

This publication was launched on September 30th, at the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources during a workshop designed to promote Biochar and Vermicomposting technologies, and to re-establish the Soil Platform

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Nicole Metz Dear colleagues, Thank you for sharing. This is a very informative compilation of what the Ethiopian network did in the International Year of Soils. I recommend it's use as a reference on soil matters indeed. Also, anybody interested in organising a public awareness raising campaign in a country may be inspired by the variety of actions you organised as a network, last year. More relevant news on Soil Fertility, also to be used as reference on this website:

6 months 1 hour ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 6 months 2 weeks ago

Newsletter Food & Business Knowledge Platform (no. 15)

The September newsletter of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) is filled with nine news items on results of F&BKP affiliated research, calls and events:

- Report regional workshop on Compost for Sustainable Agriculture

- Research project Measuring effects of agri-development on nutrition

- Literature review Social entrepreneurs as change makers for food security

- Applied Research Fund  (ARF): third call second round with deadline December 6, 2016

- Research findings & takeaways expert meetings Finance for Smallholders

Further, on the Food & Business Knowledge Platform website you can also read an update on food and nutrition security policy highlights as part of the Dutch Development Results 2015 magazine.

For more detailed background information and to download our reports and studies, please explore this website An additional way to make sure you don’t miss any Platform updates is to

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CASTORY WILLIAM thanks madam

6 months 2 weeks ago

Posted By in Healthy Soils for Healthy Life
Posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

Book Release: Soils of the Ethiopian Highlands - Geomorphology and Properties by Dr. Eyasu Elias

This book presents soil characterization, classification and mapping, along with results of testing the new fertilizer blend formulae, in 30 high potential highland woredas selected for the Agricultural Growth Programme (AGP). Resulting landscape-soil type characterization and maps published in this volume contribute towards the national effort of transforming the soil fertility sector of Ethiopia. The book has detailed chapters on the character of Ethiopia's most prevalent soils: Vertisols, Nitisols, Leptosols, Cambisols and Luvisols.

The book is the fruit of a Dutch-funded collaborative research project, ‘Capacity Building for Scaling Up of Evidence-Based Best Practices for Increased Agricultural Production in Ethiopia (CASCAPE for short). The book was launched officially on September 30th, 2016 at Harmony Hotel in Addis Abeba. To collect a copy of this special book, please contact

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Kenya
Posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

Report regional workshop on Compost for Sustainable Agriculture, Nairobi

A must read for everyone with an interest in soil fertility!

Enhancing the knowledge and raising awareness about uses, challenges and potentials of organic nutrient sources was among the core objectives of a regional workshop by the Fertile Ground Initiative and CIAT held in Nairobi 12-13 September 2016.

The workshop “Compost for Sustainable Agriculture – facts, myths, potentials and business opportunities” addressed quality and quantity issues linked to the use of such resources, and how and if they can make existing farming systems more sustainable. It discussed the quality of compost samples that were gathered and analyzed beforehand; and discussed several existing and possible business models for resource recovery. More than 50 participants from different sectors including research, NGO’s, governmental organizations, private sector (mostly from the composting sector), networks and platforms with diff

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CASTORY WILLIAM thanks very much for that good report

6 months 2 weeks ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Rwanda
Posted 8 months 1 week ago

Call for Application: Msc in Agribusiness & Msc in Agroforestry and Soil Management for the Academic year 2016-2017

Deadline for applications: 21st August, 2016

The University of Rwanda-College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (UR-CAVM) , invites qualified candidates to apply for:

1. Msc in Agribusiness

The programme is focussing on the needs of private and public institutions , governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations. The program is a gender sensitive and designed for people who aspire to become professional in Agribusiness, with sound skills in analytical techniques and capacity for conducting deep qualitative and quantitative analysis in the field of Applied Economics and Management in Agriculture.

CLICK HERE for more details, eligibility, mode of application and the required documents for application on this program.  

2. Msc in Agroforestry & Soil Management 

The programme is targeting decision makers, professionals, private practitioner

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Posted By in Soil Health Management
Posted 8 months 3 weeks ago

Here is the soil organic carbon app, an online tool that can help users calculate soil’s capacity for sequestering, or containing, organic carbon:

Posted By in AgriProFocus Kenya
Posted 10 months 3 days ago

Hi, I am George van Zijl, from South Africa. I specialize in soil mapping. With the technology of digital soil mapping we can map large areas of land much faster and cheaper than conventional methods. As soils differ, one needs to understand which properties of the soils enables different functions. Soil maps are needed to know where which soil functions can be performed where. Knowing this enables optimal sustainable crop production.

Posted By in Sustainable Agriculture
Posted 10 months 1 week ago

Regional workshop on Compost for Sustainable Agriculture

Facts, myths, potentials and business opportunities

12-13 September 2016, Nairobi

The Fertile Grounds Initiative (FGI) in collaboration with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform is organizing a workshop on “Composting for Sustainable Agriculture”, at CIAT, ICIPE Duduville Campus, Kasarani, Nairobi, Kenya from 12-13 September 2016.

The Fertile Grounds Initiative closely partners with the Food and Business Knowledge Platform and CIAT to deliver a series of workshops on conditions for improved nutrient recycling in East Africa. The overall ambition is to develop viable pathways of change towards a circular nutrient economy. The objective of this series is to enhance knowledge and create awareness about the potentials of organic nutrient sources in terms of quality and quantity for sustainable agricultural intensification, and the role of stakeholders and conditions for l

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 12 months 3 days ago

Dear APF Member, I would like to share this question with you:

Climate change is creating risks and opportunities for agriculture. Risks include yield and price volatility as well as pressure to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and other environmental impacts. With this respect, the World Bank and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are promoting “Climate-Smart Agriculture” (CSA), which includes practices that sequester carbon in soils and link it to developing soil carbon markets. On the other hand, manufacturing firms are given a license, which determines the permissible volume of carbon-dioxide emissions in to the atmosphere. 

Though, they seems two contradicting ideas:

How climate friendly they are (climate-smart agriculture =ensuring food security through climate friendly agriculture and Carbon Marketing= ensuring the industry operation by allowing them to buy a license to emit carbon dioxide) to securing climate sustainability?

Wassie Haile Woldeyohannes Dear Shiferaw, No contradiction between the two. To check this please click the following link and read:

11 months 2 weeks ago

Shiferaw Mitiku Thanks Dear Wassie for the URL

10 months 2 weeks ago

Nicole Metz This FAO brief on the role of soils may also be useful as background information:

10 months 1 week ago

Nicole Metz Following my earlier comment, Mr. Shiferaw, thank you for your pertinent question. Technically, the answers provided by the references to UNFCCC and FAO above, may provide some background information. Politically, the possible contradiction you refer you, is certainly relevant: stakeholders participating in solutions to make agriculture more 'climate smart' still have very different interests, different views on solutions, and different strategies to influence decision making. If you are interested, you may want to find partners in the Ethiopia network to further discuss this?

10 months 1 week ago

Shiferaw Mitiku Thank You Very much Dear Nicole Metz and it is well appreciated !

10 months 2 days ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 1 year 1 week ago

Newsletter (12) of Food & Business Knowledge Platform

Recommended reading about a/o. Applied Research Fund, SMEs, Micronutrients, Youth, World Bank, and the Extensive Livestock Expo.

This newsletter includes interesting highlights: the launch of the third call of the Food & Business Applied Research Fund; and several knowledge products and event reports. Those include the complete report of the successful Food & Business Applied Research projects workshop held in Uganda (in collaboration with AgriProFocus), an essay on micronutrient management, an exploration on youth in agriculture, a report of the “Food for All Partnership” learning journey on food safety, and the report about the Extensive Livestock Expo (which AgriProfocus Kenya co-organised).

Please draw your attention to the proposal deadline for the Young Expert Programmes (YEP). Until June 1, Dutch companies, knowledge institutions and social organizations can submit a proposal for the deployment of a Young Expert in Agrofood

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Georges Djodji Akibodé Ce bulletin comprend les faits saillants intéressants: le lancement du troisième appel du Fonds de la recherche appliquée de l'alimentation et des affaires; et plusieurs produits de la connaissance et les rapports d'événements. Ceux-ci incluent le rapport complet de la réussite de l'alimentation et des affaires de la recherche appliquée Projets atelier tenu en Ouganda (en collaboration avec AgriProFocus), un essai sur la gestion des micronutriments, une exploration sur les jeunes dans l'agriculture, un rapport de la "Food for All Partnership" parcours d'apprentissage sur la sécurité alimentaire, et le rapport sur l'Expo de l'élevage extensif (qui AgriProfocus Kenya a co-organisé). S'il vous plaît attirer votre attention sur la date limite de proposition pour les programmes d'experts Young (YEP). Jusqu'au 1er Juin, les entreprises néerlandaises, les institutions du savoir et des organisations sociales peuvent soumettre une proposition pour le déploiement d'un jeune expert en agroalimentaire. S'il vous plaît visitez le site Web de YEP pour plus d'informations. S'il vous plaît suivez ce lien: Aimer lire! Les réactions sont les bienvenues! - Voir plus: Agri Pro Focus

12 months 4 days ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 1 year 3 weeks ago

Micronutrient management for improving harvests, human nutrition, and the environment

New publication by Wageningen UR, in collaboration with Food & Business Knowledge Platform and IFDC

Micronutrient deficiencies in soils limit crop yields and nutritional quality, which in turn negatively affect human health. Especially in sub-Saharan Africa, soils have multiple micronutrient deficiencies which makes soils non-responsive to NPK fertilization. Poor crop yields in combination with diets that are mainly based on staple crops, causes widespread micronutrient deficiencies among the population, with severe health problems as a consequence. Worldwide over 2 billion people suffer from iron, zinc and/or other (multiple) micronutrient deficiencies. Iron deficiency anemia, for example, causes 115,000 maternal deaths per year.

A suggested strategy to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies is agronomic biofortification, particularly of staple foods. This is the fertilization of soils or plant leaves wit

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Wassie Haile Woldeyohannes Excellent and timely report

1 year 2 weeks ago

Hadijah Ssekyondwa N. Good report, thank you

1 year 2 weeks ago

Nicole Metz Thank you Wassie and Hadijah and others for your positive reactions. The report was discussed in a meeting of this Tuesday, in The Netherlands, and the debates were quite interesting. We will publish a report about the meeting within a few weeks. Are you part of the AgriProFocus Innovation Community on Soil Health, by the way? best regards, Nicole Metz (AgriProFocus and Food & Business Knowledge Platform)

1 year 2 weeks ago

Wassie Haile Woldeyohannes Dear Metz, Thanks a lot for your kind words and promise to share us the full report in few weeks time. Regarding your question, yes I am part of the agriprofocus innovative community on soil health. Best Regards

1 year 2 weeks ago

TENDO JONATHAN Hi Metz, thanks for this untimely intervention by participating in this conference about soil science. the problem of soil micronutrient deficiencies is really predominant in uganda especially the central region/buganda and very many farmers have complained about this alot.i work with an agrobased consultancy and training institution and we do go out in the field to visit clients but truth be needs a fast remedy to nutrient depletion and deficiencies in the soil if we are to harvest more from our farms. looking forward to your full report.thanks and am glad to read your information.

1 year 2 weeks ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 1 year 2 months ago

Updates on Innovation Communities

As summarized by Yelleka de Nooy, our Linking and Learning Facilitator

1. Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture. APF together with the EU Nutrition Core team will start up a new Innovation Community, for Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture. This terminology means that we will not only produce enough food, but the food should also be nutritious, to prevent malnutrition and lack of micro nutrients especially in children. Agriculture can contribute a lot to the production of nutritious food, by paying attention to soil and Agroecology and other aspects, which we would like to discuss with you.

The kick off workshop will be held on Wednesday March 9 at the EU office.

This Innovation community (IC) is a platform for exchange of knowledge and experience between professionals of different organisations, working on this crosscutting topic.

You are explicitly invited to join if you are working with one of the 4 types of stakeholder organisations: an NGO or donor orga

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Nicole Metz Dear members and colleagues of the Ethiopia network, Good to see you have developed clear plans for the innovation communities and plan to develop a few new topics. Regarding nutrition: the IC could benefit from ongoing work within the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, and from the related publications, links, and meeting reports mentioned on the website: . I myself am the contact person for that theme. Regarding Climate Conscious Agriculture: here, we could keep in touch too, as AgriProFocus would like to facilitate cross-country exchange on topics related to climate & agriculture, agroecology, sustainable agriculture practices, etc. Please keep in touch!

1 year 2 months ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 1 year 2 months ago

Interview of the Month
The Critical Importance of Organic Matters in Our Soils

Dr. Eshetu Bekele is a soil scientist in the applied chemistry program of Adama Science and Technology University. As a member of the organizing committee of the Ethiopian Soil Campaign, he has played a significant role for the success of the campaign since 2015. As part of the campaign activities, this interview was conducted and documented by Sarah Assefa, an Instructor of Environmental Science and Sustainable Development at Hope College of Business, Science and Technology. In this short interview, Dr. Eshetu tells us the critical importance of organic matters in our soils.

Why are you interested in soil health?

Soil is the basis of everything as the food we eat, the energy and medicine we use are derivatives of soil, soils through their structure and the great variety of species they host, perform numerous functions including food production, nutrient and water storage, filtering, detoxifying and p

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