In the last five years ICRAF has helped establish comprehensive soil information systems in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria. Malawi is determined to be next.
Africa has over 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land but remains a major food importer. Even though agricultural production has grown by 130% over the past 30 years, with 18 Sub-Saharan countries halving the proportion of hungry people, more needs to be done. Soil is Africa’s most important natural resource: healthy and fertile soils are the cornerstones of food security.
Formal agricultural research has generated vast amounts of knowledge on land management and made recommendations for farmers. However, adoption of relevant practices has been low, largely due to the traditional extension approach used to engage farmers. An innovative approach to extension, the rural resource centre (RRC), offers a solution to this problem.
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has been developing rural resource centres since 2006; first in Cameroon, and later in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Niger.