N2AFRICA is a large scale, science-based “research-in-development” project focused on putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers growing legume crops in Africa. Our vision of success is to build sustainable, long-term partnerships to enable African smallholder farmers to benefit from symbiotic N2-fixation by grain legumes through effective production technologies, including inoculants and fertilizers. 

With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, N2Africa began a second phase on the 1st of January 2014.  The project will run for five years and is led by Wageningen University together with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). We have many partners in Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda (Core countries), and in DR Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe (Tier 1 countries).

In the first phase, N2Africa reached more than 230,000 farmers who evaluated and employed improved grain legume varieties, rhizobium inoculants and phosphate based fertilizers. In the second phase, we remain focused on research on and dissemination of major grain legumes in selected areas in the Core countries. In the Tier 1 countries we disseminate the outcomes from the first phase through co-funded dissemination activities. In all countries we work closely with national systems to institutionalize legume expertise. 

By 2019, N2Africa will have:

  • Tailored and adapted legume technologies to expand the area of legume production within the farm and to close yield gaps and reduce yield variability building on the (GL * GR) * E * M framework in each partner country
  • Built local expertise in each partner country
  • Provided opportunities for the poor and enhanced their food and nutritional security
  • Addressed gender disparities
  • Established new value chains and engaged with input supply chain and output market actors to ensure a sustainable supply of legume-related agro-inputs
  • Formulated improved inoculant products and developed cost-effective production and delivery methods
  • Customized flexible dissemination approaches and made enhanced use of innovative data collection and communication tools
  • Reached more than 550,000 farmers with a return on investment of US$3.5 for each US$ invested 


N2Africa Map Overview : Core countries (dark green), Tier 1 countries (light green), former Buffett countries (amber) and Non-N2A countries  (yellow).

     Click here to download the N2Africa Final Report of the First Phase.

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N2Africa will co-host the Joint PanAfrican Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference to be held in Livingstone, Zambia, on 28 February to 4 March 2016. More..

Latest news

UPDATE: "Future Food Production: Crops" offered as SUMMER COURSE

As announced in our latest Podcaster edX re-runs the MOOC “Growing our future food: Crops” as a summer course.

From edX we received the following message:

As part of the summer school initiative of edX, we are re-running the MOOC GFFCx under the new name of: “Future Food Production: Crops”. The course has been updated and improved and will start on the 15th of June 2015 and will be self-paced. Because of this, we have adjusted the peer review, grading and the experiment in order to enable you to take the course at your own pace. Courseware will be accessible for nearly 4 months (until the 1st of October). ...


While many N2Africa staff in some countries, both in Africa and elsewhere, taking hard-earned vacations, others are in full swing of the cropping season. That’s the nature of such a broadly-based project as N2Africa – there are always exciting things happening. Fred Kanampiu and I have just returned from a visit to Tanzania with senior staff from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which we report on below. It’s always invigorating to discuss with N2Africa farmers and other stakeholders and understand their opportunities and how they are tackling difficulties they encounter. We’re very grateful to Freddy Baijukya, the N2Africa Coordinator for Tanzania and his staff for organising a full and diverse programme for us. ...

Foundation Officers Visit N2Africa Activities in northern Tanzania

We were delighted to share some of the excitement of N2Africa in action with Sara Boettiger, Deputy Director for Agricultural Development (Farmer Services and Systems), her Program Assistant, Mallory Robinson and our very own Senior Project Officer, Charlene McKoin. Our visit began with a courtesy call to Hon. Daudi Felix Ntibenda, the Regional Commissioner for Arusha. He assured us that the Tanzanian Government is an active partner in all our activities in rural areas and wished us a productive visit.

Photo: N2Africa farmers at Sanya Station Village, Hai District with the foundation officers

Peter Thorne taking over N2Africa Advisory Committee tasks from Alan Duncan

Alan Duncan is stepping down from his role in N2Africa. We are grateful to Alan for his wise counsel in his role in the N2Africa Leadership Team over the past years. We welcome Peter Thorne who will take over his responsibilities for N2Africa at ILRI. ...

Introducing Ibironke Popoola

We have the pleasure of introducing and welcoming Ms. Ibironke Popoola, a Nutrition Research Associate in the Crop Utilisation Laboratory of IITA in Ibadan, Nigeria to N2Africa. Ms. Ibironke will be helping in N2Africa Nutrition activities under the guidance of Dr. Bussie B. Maziya-Dixon (IITA-Crop Utilization Scientist). She has been actively involved in the implementation of Nutrition and Consumer research activities in Nigeria, Zambia, Sierra Leone and DRCongo. Prior to her appointment at IITA, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Dutch Agricultural Economics Institute – Landbouw Economisch Instituut, where she backstopped Research Scientists in the execution of research projects in the Food and Agriculture domain.

The missing link

What started as an agreeable brain storming session, has, over time become the ‘Bean Thinking’ campaign to inform smallholder farming household members about good practices in common bean farming.

A group of public and private sector entities has joined with an array of initiatives into an innovative Legume Alliance. ...

Leaving the mines for agriculture

N2Africa partnered with Women for Women in Kamituga (South Kivu, DRC). Together they offer the women from this region better opportunities in ‘business’ agriculture than they currently get from heavy work in the mines.

Photo: Site in Kamituga where BANRO SPRL (a private mining company) is in the exploration phase

Do Ghanaian farmers produce what they need to eat?
In my PhD research I assess whether the food requirements of rural households in Ghana match with the food they produce. Therefore I need to know how much and which food the household members need for a healthy diet, and how much and which food they produce on their farm. To see what food is needed for a healthy diet, together with a team of scientists, research assistants and students1 I collected dietary intake data from 400 children between 6 months and 2 years old in Karaga district in Northern Ghana. ...
Improved access to tools and guidelines for data collection: Get that overview!

A new structure for the N2Africa intranet is online. Especially information on agronomy activities and data collection is now easier to find and access. ...


N2Africa joins multi-stakeholder partnership to support soyabean sector development in Tanzania

Participants to the launch of Soybean Innovation Platform with Dr Jackson Nkuba, representative of PS, in suit on the front row

"Partnership will address challenges facing farmers in the production and marketing of soyabean in the country"

An innovation platform that brings together all the stakeholders along soyabean value chain from farmers to government and non-government organizations and the private sector to address the challenges facing soyabean sector development in Tanzania was launched on 13 May 2015 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. ...

BIOFIX and LEGUMEFiX inoculant products now registered in Tanzania

Inoculant products BIOFIX (from MEA Ltd - Kenya) and LEGUMEFiX (from Legume Technology Ltd - UK) are now registered in Tanzania as fertilizer supplements. This means that the two products can now be directly imported into Tanzania. Registration of these products follows efforts by the COMPRO-II project, which has collaborated with Tanzania Fertilizer Regulatory Authority (TFRA), N2Africa, and other stakeholders to develop registration guidelines for bio-fertilizers including rhizobium inoculants. ...

Photo: Packets of BIOFIX and LEGUMEFiX inoculants

News from Legume Technology

Legume Technology has now achieved registration in Kenya and Tanzania. After several years of trials showing excellent results the LEGUMEFiX brand of rhizobium inoculants will now be available for commercial sales. It is hoped that LEGUMEFiX will be available to smallholders and commercial growers in both Tanzania and Kenya within a few months. Distributors are in the process of gathering market information and assessing the interest in our products so they can forecast sales and manage stock levels available for sale in both Tanzania and Kenya. ...

WeRATE R4D Platform Shines at the Agriculture Society of Kenya Kakamega Show

The Agriculture Society of Kenya (ASK) proved a great way to disseminate messages to farmers in the West Kenya Action Area shared by the N2Africa, Humidtropics and IFAD Cassava Projects. ...

Photo: Soyabean varieties were demonstrated to farmers with and without the N2Africa recommended technology package

The Agriculture Society of Kenya (ASK) proved a great way to disseminate messages to farmers in the West Kenya Action Area shared by the N2Africa, Humidtropics and IFAD Cassava Projects. The Western Region Agriculture Technology Evaluation (WeRATE), an R4D Platform working closely with IITA, participated fully in this show, advancing its theme "Enhancing Technology in Agriculture and Industry for Food Security" through field demonstrations, sales of improved seeds and cuttings as well as other inputs, and exhibition of value-adding technologies. Numerous organizations from government, research, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector and others were also represented at this show running from 17 through 20 June 2015. ...

Watch out for “Predatory Open Access Journals”!

The number of predatory journals is spiraling. A "predatory journal" is a fake journal that will publish just about anything written as long as you pay a fee. They have no proper peer-review or editorial procedures. Wikipedia provides a good description: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_open_access_publishing

2016 PanAfrican & World Cowpea Conference Update

The dates of the conference have been confirmed as 28 February - 4 March 2016. Further information can be found in the first announcement.

Report uploaded on the N2Africa website

Joseph Mhango submitted his MSc thesis "Efficacy and competitiveness of indigenous Bradyrhizobia strains on soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) productivity in Malawi" at Egerton University. We uploaded it on our website.

Free online Summer course of the Future of Crop Production

It is still possible to participate in the Wageningen University MOOC "Future Food Production: Crops" made available on edX. There is no fee and it is open to all who wish to join. Follow this link to register: https://www.edx.org/course/future-food-production-crops-wageningenx-gffcx. Subscription is possible until September 15th.

ADVANCE II Newsletter

We received the "ADVANCE II Newsletter" June Edition. This quarterly newsletter informs you about progress, impact and successes of the ADVANCE Project. Also shared is news of how a female farmer is improving her farming operations thanks to project support, how FBOs are being strengthened, how mechanization services are being improved in Northern Ghana and many more..

Humidtropics Newsletter April-June 2015

Humidtropics sent us their latest newsletter with lots of interesting information.

ECOLEG: Ecosystemic Services Of Legumes In Agro-Ecosystems

ECOLEG: is confirmed to take place in Agropolis Montpellier Campus La Gaillarde, between august 24th and 28th, as final meeting of the GPF fabatropimed, and as an international symposium on the topic.

Tropical Soybean Information Portal and Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) June Newsletter

Dr. Peter Goldsmith sent us some information on the new Tropical Soybean Information Portal as well as their newsletter.