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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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Latest news

Title Summary
Introduction

With the Ethiopian delegation

Last month I was delighted to host Christian Witt (Senior Project Officer for N2Africa at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). In addition to updating Christian on N2Africa we joined discussions with a large, high-level delegation from Ethiopia visiting Wageningen. The Ethiopian delegation was led by H.E. Dr. Eyasu Abraha Alle, Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, H.E. Ato Tesfaye Mengiste, State Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources (standing on the photo) and H.E. Prof. Fekadu Beyene, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries. ...
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Introducing Eva Thuijsman
As of May 2017, I am working with N2Africa as a research assistant, doing data management and analysis and supporting any kind of N2Africa activities. I am very happy and grateful to be part of the N2Africa family! However, I am not a complete stranger because I have been involved in N2Africa since the end of 2015 through my internship and thesis, as part of my MSc Organic Agriculture at Wageningen University.

Eva carrying beans in Uganda

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A farmer with an open mind in Nigeria

Clement Hange with the MARKETS II Communication Officer

For over sixty years, Mr. Clement Hange has been a farmer in his community of Mbanor in Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. All that time he was happy with the returns he got from his farming efforts. However, when he got selected as a lead farmer to take care of a demonstration plot for his farmer group ‘Hange Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Ltd’, he changed his mind on how he had been farming soyabean for over two decades. ...
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My journey into agripreneurship, Borno State, Nigeria
My name is Mercy Haruna Wakawa. I am from Borno state Nigeria and I studied Food Science and Technology at the University of Maiduguri. Like every other Nigerian youth I was full of dreams and enthusiasm for a robust working career and livelihood after graduating from University. ...

Mercy Haruna Wakawa at her processing unit

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MALAM ISAH WAKILI: An Enthusiastic Cowpea Farmer from Nigeria

Malam Isah’s household and other neighbours who are often nourished by legume recipes

It started some time ago in 2012 when the N2Africa project Nigeria extended its dissemination activities to Niger State located in the North Central Zone of Nigeria. There, the campaign was further devolved to Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA) where Malam Isah Wakili lives with his family, in a community called Gwagwa which is largely dominated by the Gwari tribe. ...
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Product Testing of BNF Technologies in Kenya
This report describes the supply of BNF technology products by the N2Africa Project in Kenya during the 2017 long rains. This is the penultimate growing season of our activities in Kenya, and one that undertook a difficult transition from the grassroots focus of the past to an agribusiness orientation. We now work with agrodealers and input suppliers through the One Stop Shop Operation Mechanism (OSSOM, sounds like ‘awesome’) as a key component of our N2Africa Project exit strategy in a manner that reinforces commercial supply of BNF technology products to farmers in West Kenya beyond the lifespan of the project. ...

Soyabean seed, Sympal legume fertilizer and refrigerated BIOFIX legume inoculants offered for sale by Dick Morgan Ongai at a One Stop Shop in Vihiga County, Kenya.

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Educating Tanzanian Smallholder Farmers about Modern Bean Cultivation – What Works Best and at What Costs?

Women famers answering a questionnaire to assess their level of knowledge on bean cultivation

Most smallholder farmers in Tanzania depend on beans for daily subsistence. However, yields remain significantly below their potential, which is partly due to the lack of information about improved farming practices and the appropriate use of agricultural inputs. Therefore, N2Africa and its partners, notably the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) and Farm Radio International (FRI) launched the Maharage Bingwa Campaign (MBC). ...
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Partner Profile: Global Change Learning Lab highlights participatory legume-based research in Malawi
The Global Change Learning Lab is an integrative web-based site that facilitates research and information sharing by global change scientists and partners collaborating on action research in Sub Saharan Africa. The learning lab website is designed to both inform and engage research partners, extension educators, and the public. Many collaborators are engaged in agricultural research for development efforts focusing on the role of legumes in smallholder systems. The website highlights challenges facing smallholder farmers primarily in Malawi and explores interdisciplinary, participatory action research and agroecological approaches to support farmers as they face global change forces such as resource degradation, globalization, and climate change. ...

Global Change Learning Lab participatory soil characterization exercise

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Can you re-close an ecosystem once it’s been opened? Reflections on the role of legumes in central DRC

As Nile and Brady’s classic text, The Nature and Properties of Soils notes, the slash-and-burn system is not inherently unsustainable. In theory, natural vegetation is cut and burned from a plot of land and crops are grown for several years until the nutrients, built up over years, have been used and yields begin to decline. The farmer then moves on to the next plot to continue the cycle. Only after an undefined period of time, after the original ‘slash’ plot has re-established natural growth and replenished soil organic matter and nutrient pools, does the farmer return to cultivate the plot. With an adequate land base and rotational cycle, new deforestation is avoided. ...

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A new guide to maize-legume systems


The Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) have just released an all-encompassing guide on maize-legume cropping systems with major contributions from N2Africa. The guide aims to provide all the most important information needed to design and implement effective systems which combine maize and legumes, with a primary focus on maize. The overall objective is to provide guidance on how to achieve sustainable increases ...
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Thanks to N2Africa Uganda

A PhD student from Warwick, after hearing Ken Giller talk about N2Africa at her University, opted for a 10 day research placement within N2Africa and was given the opportunity to visit N2Africa Uganda. After her return she wrote:

I returned from Uganda this week. I must say I have been amazed by the work that is done there! It is an incredible idea and the science communication is excellent! The team of N2AFRICA seems to be very carefully chosen. Inspiring, strong people that love their job and they taught me a lot.

 

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Related newsletters 12
Announcement


Consultants for the Global Crop Diversity Brigitte Maass and Bruce Pengelly shared a new edition of the Newsletter on “Forages for the Future”.

The newsletter is meant to start re-building a community that is interested and engaged in tropical and subtropical forage genetic resources, their conservation and utilization. ...

 

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