The African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility: New Challenges and Opportunities
Swift, M. J.
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Soil fertility degradation has been described as the single most important constraint to food security in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Soil fertility decline is not just a problem of nutrient deficiency but also of 1) Inappropriate germplasm and cropping system design, 2) Interactions with pests and diseases, 3) The linkage between poverty and land degradation, 4) Often perverse national and global policies with respect to incentives, and 5) Institutional failures. Tackling soil fertility issues thus requires a long-term perspective and a holistic approach. The African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility (AfNet) of Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility institute of CIAT whose ultimate goal is to strengthen and sustain stakeholder capacity to generate, share and apply soil fertility management knowledge and skills to contribute to the welfare of farming communities is devoted to overcoming this challenge. This African-wide network has over 200 members from National Agricultural Research and Extension Services (NARES) and universities from various disciplines mainly soil science, social science and technology exchange. This paper is an highlight of AfNet’s main activities which include: Network field research activities, information and documentation, training and capacity building