IFDC in conjunction with ARM Mavuno have established a partnership to introduce fertilizer deep placement technology with a view of improving productivity, farm incomes and food security for a minimum of 10,000 farmers. IFDC is a public international organization addressing critical issues such as international food security, the alleviation of global hunger and poverty, environmental protection and the promotion of economic development and self-sufficiency.
The business partnership is the introduction and up-scaling deep placement of USG in production of paddy rice in Kenya. The key activities will include farmer training on timing and application method of USG through on farm demonstrations. The current practice of basal application of prilled compound NPKs without incorporation followed by one top dressing with ammonium suphate have been shown to be inefficient. This is because only one third of the fertilizer N is used by plants and the remainder is lost through volatilization, denitrification, runoff and leaching or is immobilized in the soil. Deep placement of USG reduces nutrient losses and improves fertilizer use efficiency through reduction of volatilization loss of ammonia and has significant positive effects on rice nitrogen use efficiency and growth (plant height and total tillers hill-1) and yield (grain yield) parameters
The project targets small-scale farmers who are currently producing rice as a commercial and food crop. With increased consumption of rice in the country and stagnant and/or declining yields these farmers cannot meet the local demand making the country a net importer of this important food crop. The aim is to improve rice production in the country.
The main implementer of the idea is a crop nutritionist with 30 years of experience in farming systems approach to research extension and training. The collaborators are experienced institutions with national mandate of conducting research and providing extension services on rice production.
The partnership will help both IFDC and ARM Mavuno to implement their objective of improving rural livelihoods and food nutrition in security in Africa.