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https://e-catalogs.taat-africa.org/com/technologies/specialty-blended-fertilizers-for-root-and-tuber-crops
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Specialty blended fertilizers for root and tuber crops

Special fertilizer for root and tuber crops

Specialty Blended Fertilizers for Root and Tuber Crops are tailor-made fertilizers that provide a well-balanced mix of vital nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur, which helps to tackle deficiencies often found in soils in Sub-Saharan Africa. By making use of fertilizers and manufacturing resources readily available in the region, these specialized mixes are designed to meet the specific needs of sweet potato and cassava farming under different conditions. This approach allows for the efficient and sustainable use of nutrients within the farming system, while boosting root growth, tuber filling, and overall crop health.

2

This technology is TAAT1 validated.

6•6

Scaling readiness: idea maturity 6/9; level of use 6/9

16 to 26 ton per hectare

sweetpotato yield increase

IP

Open source / open access

Problem

  • Nutrient Deficiencies in Soils: Soils across many landscapes in Sub-Saharan Africa lack essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur required for root and tuber crops like sweet potato and cassava.

  • Low Soil Fertility: Production areas for sweet potato and cassava face limitations in crop production due to low soil fertility, intensive cultivation, and high population density.

  • Insufficient Crop Resilience: Root and tuber crops are susceptible to drought, pests, diseases, and stress, affecting crop quality and productivity.

Solution

  • Balanced Nutrient Supply: Specially designed fertilizers provide a balanced supply of essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur, addressing the deficiencies found in the soils of Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Enhanced Crop Health and Yield: By providing the right nutrient formula at the right time and place, the fertilizers significantly enhance the productivity, quality, and resilience of tuber crops, helping them resist drought, pests, diseases, and stress.

  • Meeting Specific Crop Needs: Specific nutrient formulas can be made by blending a wide range of solid granular types of fertilizers. This caters to the specific needs of sweet potato and cassava under different conditions.

Key points to design your business plan

Manufacturer:

  • Establish a manufacturing unit with blending and quality control capabilities.
    Hire qualified personnel for production, quality control, and marketing.
    Obtain necessary licenses and certifications.
  • Conduct market research to assess demand for root & tuber crop fertilizers in Africa. Develop a production plan considering raw material availability, blending ratios, and target markets. Formulate a pricing strategy considering production costs, market competition, and farmer affordability.
  • Secure reliable sources for raw materials like potash, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Establish efficient transportation networks to deliver finished products to resellers across Africa. Partner with storage facilities to ensure proper product handling and availability.
  • Collaborate with research institutions like IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture) for technical expertise on fertilizer formulations specific to African soils and root/tuber crops. Partner with agricultural extension services to educate farmers on the benefits of these fertilizers. Consider partnering with NGOs or government initiatives promoting improved agricultural practices.
  • Factor in costs for setting up the manufacturing unit, equipment, raw materials, labor, transportation, storage, and marketing. Research and include potential government subsidies or tax breaks for fertilizer production in Africa.

Reseller:

  • Establish a distribution network reaching farmers in your target region.
    Train sales staff on the benefits and proper use of specialty blended fertilizers.
    Develop a sales and marketing strategy targeting root & tuber crop farmers.
    Partner with agricultural associations or cooperatives to reach a wider audience.
    Consider offering additional services like soil testing or crop advisory services.
  • Secure storage space for fertilizers received from the manufacturer.
    Establish an efficient delivery system to reach farmers in your region.
  • Partner with local farm input retailers to expand your reach.
    Collaborate with extension services or NGOs to conduct farmer training programs on the use of these fertilizers.
  • Consider costs for storage, transportation, marketing, staff training, and potential value-added services.

User Farmers (Root & Tuber Crop Growers):

  • Learn about the benefits of specialty blended fertilizers for root & tuber crops compared to traditional options.
  • Assess your soil fertility through testing services offered by extension agents or NGOs.
    Develop a cropping plan considering the specific fertilizer recommendations for your crops and soil type.
  • Factor in the cost of purchasing the fertilizer and any additional application costs (labor, equipment).
  • Partner with extension services, retailers, cooperatives, and even manufacturers to access expertise, resources, and potentially lower costs for using specialty blended fertilizers.

Additional Considerations:

  • Government regulations: Research and comply with any regulations regarding fertilizer production, distribution, and use in your country.
  • Environmental impact: Be mindful of the environmental impact of fertilizer production and usage. Look for ways to minimize waste and promote sustainable practices.
More

Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive low
The poor
Positive low
Women
Positive low

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts somewhat well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
Biodiversity
It doesn't hurt them
Carbon footprint
It doesn't reduce emissions at all
Environment
It doesn't make a difference
Soil quality
It doesn't harm the soil's health and fertility
Water usage
It uses the same amount of water

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Adopted
Countries with a yellow colour
Tested
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Ethiopia Tested Adopted
Kenya Tested Adopted
Nigeria Tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool
Arid
Semiarid
Subhumid
Humid

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 8: decent work and economic growth
Goal 8: decent work and economic growth

  • Balanced Nutrient Supply: Specially designed fertilizers provide a balanced supply of essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur, addressing the deficiencies found in the soils of Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Enhanced Crop Health and Yield: By providing the right nutrient formula at the right time and place, the fertilizers significantly enhance the productivity, quality, and resilience of tuber crops, helping them resist drought, pests, diseases, and stress.

  • Efficient Nutrient Utilization: Tailored fertilizer regimes ensure efficient and sustainable nutrient utilization in the cropping system, supporting root development, tuber filling, and crop health.

  • Improved Agronomic Efficiency: The use of inorganic fertilizers on improved varieties of sweet potato and cassava results in stable and larger yields, enhancing the overall efficiency of crop production.

  • Customized Nutrient Formulas: Blending a wide range of solid granular fertilizers allows for the creation of specific nutrient formulas, including the addition of micronutrients like zinc, boron, and copper, addressing additional deficiencies and enhancing the production of sweet potato and cassava crops.

Last updated on 22 May 2024