Soil Variation and Why It Matters
Crop yields in much of the developing world remain below potential, partly due to low adoption of profitable technologies such as improved seeds and fertilizer. Some contend the problem is that soils are not fertilizer responsive, so increased investment in these inputs will not contribute to growth and development objectives. However, an alternative interpretation is that interventions designed to promote increased fertilizer use often ignore distinct soil variation. Publicly supported generalized recommendations for fertilizer and seed varieties overlook differences in soil type, reducing the productivity gains and thus discouraging uptake. This suggests that customized fertilizer and seed packages reflecting soil-specific input needs may succeed where one-size-fits-all policies have failed. Three projects under the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Access are tackling this issue of soil variation with research in Kenya, Mexico and Tanzania.
Join our upcoming webinar where presenters will use these case studies to provide clear evidence of the need to target improved seed and fertilizer interventions tailored to reflect the variation in soils. Participants will learn about the importance of soil variability and the impact it has on agricultural development outcomes; engage with the research experts; and refer to the evidence provided to better design, validate, and improve future interventions.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) Kenya
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of California-Davis (Moderator)