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).

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

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Title Summary

Welcome to the last Podcaster of 2016! Although a hectic time for us all pulling together the reporting for the past year – it’s also a great opportunity for reflection on all that has happened over the past 12 months. So much has happened it is hard to believe only last March many of us met in Livingstone at the PanAfrican Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference to celebrate 2016 as the International Year of Pulses....

Photo: Fred Kanampiu accepting the invitation to host the next AABNF in 2018 in Rwanda on behalf of N2Africa. The current AABNF President, Prof Flora Pule-Meulenberg, and founding member of AABNF, Prof Shellemiah Keya are sitting on the podium.


Mid-annual and M&E review meeting in Ethiopia

Picture: Workshop participants (partial view)

N2Africa – Ethiopia held its Mid-Annual and M&E Review meeting from October 13th-14th, 2016 at ILRI in Addis Ababa. The overall objective of the workshop was to review the implementation progress of the project, in reference to the work plan 2016, and to develop strategies for improvements. The project is implemented in collaboration with diverse partners from public and private sectors, and NGOs using different methods and approaches. ...

N2Africa partners develop a strategy to achieve sustainability in Tanzania

“Sustainability” was the theme of the third N2Africa Tanzania review and planning meeting, that took place on October 19th-20th, 2016 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The meeting brought together 34 participants drawn from partner institutions. ...

Picture: N2Africa review meeting 2016

Reflections on training events in Nigeria

A series of training was conducted for Extension Agents (EAs) and partners’ staff of Niger State Agricultural and Mechanization Authority (NAMDA) and USAID-MARKETS II in Niger, Kaduna, Benue and Kano states during the 2016 planting season. ...

Picture: Demonstration of planters to Extension Agents

N2Africa as case study for PROIntensAfrica - What role for legumes in sustainable intensification?

In 2015, N2Africa was selected as a case study within the PROIntensAfrica initiative and over the last one and a half year this case study was conducted in two of the N2Africa countries, Ghana and Kenya. We have given regular updates in the Podcaster, and the case study has now been finalised. The report can be found online: click here.

Figure: Average scores on selected sustainability indicators for households in study sites in Northern Ghana

Legume yield gaps in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania

Currently sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is not self-sufficient in cereals, while the demand is projected to triple between 2010 and 2050 due to population growth and changing diets. Therefore it is needed to drastically increase food production to meet this challenging demand for agricultural products by 2050. A major option is narrowing gaps between actual farm yields and yield potential.

Picture: Maize yield gap in SSA at country level from the Global Yield Gap Atlas (www.yieldgap.org), black dots indicate the weather stations used for the yield gap assessment

Groundnut response to calcium and phosphorus fertilizer rates in Tanzania
Henry Tamba Nyuma focussed his research on investigating the response of groundnut to inorganic sources of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) with emphases on yield, fats and protein contents, as well as profitability of fertilizer in groundnut production at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania. ...
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On January 18th, 2017, the world will celebrate pulses! Global Pulse Day will be celebrated every year to promote the nutritional and environmental benefits of pulses. Submit ideas for Global Pulse Day on January 18th, 2017.