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).

N2Africa PhD scholarships available! Still looking for candidates in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda! Click here for more information.

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The second phase of N2Africa started on the 1st January 2014 and it has been a very busy time writing up reports and getting started with our new strategy. N2Africa is going through some major changes in staffing and we extend a very warm thanks to all of those staff who are moving on to new challenges. ...

On the photo: The N2Africa Field Liaison Officer in Nigeria, Esther Chinedu with her son who was named "Inoculant" – surely a first!! His parents also gave him the official name of Elijah Chinedu.

Introduction of new N2Africa coordinators

New N2Africa coordinators have been appointed recently:

Prof. Samuel Adjei-Nsiah, Country Coordinator, Ghana

Peter Ebanyat, Country Coordinator for Uganda

Endalkachew Wolde-meskel, Country Coordinator Ethiopia

Freddy Baijukya, N2Africa Coordinator, Tanzania


Emmanuel Sangodele, country coordinator Nigeria

Edward Baars, Business Development Officer for N2Africa

Joost van Heerwaarden, Coordinator Research and Data



Five N2Africa PhD Scholarships available

N2Africa seeks applicants for five PhD "sandwich" scholarships available to start in September 2014. We seek candidates with an excellent academic record a strong commitment to advancing science to enhance agricultural productivity of grain legumes in sub-Saharan Africa and their use by smallholder farmers. All students will register for their PhD at Wageningen University. Preference will be given to candidates who are employed by a national university or research institute in the country specified for each of the PhD scholarships.

N2Africa was officially launched in Uganda on January 16th

N2Africa was launched at a workshop led by Dr Peter Ebanyat in Kampala, Uganda. Dr Stephen Byantwale (see photo), representing the Director of Crop Resources, Ministry of Agriculture stressed the importance of N2Africa in enhancing the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Uganda and of aligning with the policies of the government.


N2Africa project launched in Tanzania in February

N2Africa was officially launched by the Director for Research and Development in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Dr Fidelis Myaka on behalf of the Permanent Secretary Ms Sophia Kaduma at the start of the workshop held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 19-20 February, 2014. The project launch was organized by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) ―one of the project’s implementing partners. ...

N2Africa launch Ethiopia

The N2Africa project was officially launched in Addis Ababa on 27-28 Feb 2014. The launch was held in a tent due to ongoing refurbishment on ILRI’s conference facilities. The tent lent an informal atmosphere to the meeting and encouraged strong engagement by around 70 participants from across Ethiopia and from other N2Africa countries. ...

N2Africa Phase II Launch in Ghana

The Phase II of N2Africa was officially launched in Ghana on 3-4 March, 2014 at the Modern City Hotel, Tamale.

Welcoming participants to the workshop, Dr Nutsuga, the Director of the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Tamale lauded the gains made by N2Africa in Phase I in improving the productivity of grain legumes in Northern Ghana ...

Brief story of N2Africa Phase II launch in Nigeria

March 7 2014 was a memorable date for IITA Kano station and Nigeria legume farmers. N2Africa Phase II was launched in Kano city. The benefit of Phase I of the project were; farmers are convinced about yield enhancement effect the use of rhizobium inoculant in soya bean production in Nigeria and are ready to adopt the practice as a practicable way of generating more income. Luckily, Nigeria has been designated as one of the core countries in Phase II.

N2Africa Phase II launched in DR Congo

Since 2009, the N2Africa project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is working with smallholder farmers in the South and North Kivu Provinces in Eastern DR Congo to raise agricultural productivity and soil fertility through Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF), thereby improving the livelihoods of those farmers. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF) grant, from 2012 to 2014, strengthened and extended N2Africa activities in Ruzizi plain/ South Kivu and Rutshuru & Masisi/ North Kivu, which are major agricultural zones with extensive agricultural land and human capital to enable sustainable agricultural development.  

February 3rd 2014, the IITA Kalambo station was hosting the planning meeting on the N2Africa project, Putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers in Africa, Phase II under IITA coordination.

Murdoch University poster award 2013 for Aliyu Anchau Abdullahi

Aliyu Anchau Abdullahi was awarded the prize in "Plant Diseases and Crop Improvement" category at the 2013 Postgraduate Poster Day (An annual event) held at Murdoch University WA, on Friday 8th November, 2013. The prize was provided by the Department of Agriculture and food, Western Australia (DAFWA) in support of PhD students at Murdoch University.

Title of the poster is: Exploring the genetic diversity of groundnut-nodulating rhizobia in moist and dry savannas of Nigeria for increased symbiotic nitrogen fixation and productivity.

Full version of the poster.




MSc research Usambara Mountains, Tanzania: Continued story parts 3 and 4

Did you read the stories of our MSc students Jori Langwerden and Elise Bressers that were published before on N2Africa Facebook on February 3rd and March 3rd?

Some of the best photos of these stories are published here again.

Left: active nodules


Africa Business Leadership Training Center offers online and distance learning certificate courses

We received a message that the Africa Business Leadership Training Center is organizing online and distance learning certificate courses, to be conducted from 1st  April 2014 to 1st June 2014.

The marketing modules seem interesting for country coordinators, agronomists, BDOs considering the direction N2Africa is taking. The text of the announcement and the information on the Marketing Certificate Course are available to those who want to know more.

Literature study by the Virtual Fertilizer Research Center (VFRC)

A literature study has been published by the Virtual Fertilizer Research Center (VFRC) (written with the Department of Soil Quality, Wageningen Unversity) about soil, roots and micororganismes: the fascinating world of microbioal life in the rhizosphere that contributes to nutrient uptake for plants.