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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Latest news

Introduction

We welcome Theresa Ampadu-Boakye to N2Africa as monitoring and evaluation specialist – and I’m pleased to report that we now have a full complement of staff across the project. ...

The past two months have been an exciting time for N2Africa and we have a lot to report. ...

Photo left: no manure, right: with manure and P fertilizer

 

 

Obituary Rev. George Kivandah

We received a message from Kenya Soyabeans Farmers’ Association (KESOFA): To their and our regret they had to announce that their Chairman Rev. Kivandah has passed away on May 3rd because of a stroke. He was great with KESOFA and he will be missed. KESOFA staffs will succeed his will and continue endeavouring to expand the organisation and community.

New Monitoring & Evaluation coordinator

Theresa Ampadu-Boakye (Mrs) is the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for N2Africa. Prior to her appointment, she had worked as the Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for Towards Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness Through Learning in Entrepreneurship (2SCALE) Project implemented by the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) for the North and West Africa Division where she developed and implemented a web based monitoring and evaluation system and an accompanying Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (PMEP) for the project. She had also worked for eight years with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) funded Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) as a Technical Advisor and subsequently as Senior Technical Advisor responsible for monitoring and evaluation and organizational development. ...

 

N2Africa ventures into Borno State, Nigeria

N2Africa has been granted an extra US$5 million supplementary grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its activities to Borno State, North-Eastern Nigeria. The request that N2Africa start activities in Borno came from the State Governor, another signal that the N2Africa story is reaching its potential clients! This initiative is aligned to a polio vaccination campaign, supported by the foundation, and will operate in a set of Local Government Areas in the south of the State, where security is less problematic (see map). ...

N2Africa wins top prize in the Harvesting Nutrition Contest
N2Africa was one of three winners of the SecureNutrition Knowledge Platform’s 2013 Harvesting Nutrition contest. The SecureNutrition Knowledge platform of the World Bank has partnered with Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Save the Children to create the Harvesting Nutrition contest. A contest with the aim of showcasing projects around the globe that have bridged gaps between agriculture, food security, and nutrition. ...

 

N2Africa Master Plans: Creating synergies in a decentralized initiative

The second phase of N2Africa is organized around a decentralized structure with much of the decision-making processes residing with the coordinators of the core countries, in close consultation with the project leadership and coordination team. This was a necessary modification to the structure of the first phase, in view of the more opportunistic, partner-led strategies required for delivering the vision of success of phase II ...

New extension materials ready!

We’re happy to present three posters which are ready to use as extension materials in N2Africa. Two posters deal with inoculation, presenting inoculation methods for the two most widely used inoculants, LegumeFix and Biofix. The third poster shows different methods for staking climbing beans, including the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods. Please download the posters and use them however and whenever you like. Alternatively you can find the posters on www.n2africa.org.

Review of conditioning factors and constraints to legume adoption and their management in Phase II of N2Africa

The successful proposal of Phase II of N2Africa has given us an opportunity to select sites for the new countries in N2Africa to maximise the relevance of the research findings for different environments and communities. Collating information and reviewing the literature to identify the major factors that promote or hinder the adoption of grain legumes in sub Saharan Africa resulted in developing the conceptual framework  on grain legume yield and biological nitrogen fixation at scale, and guided the choice of variables that need to be considered when characterising a new context. ...

Adoption domains for groundnuts in Tanzania

NoduMax: a new legume inoculant in West Africa
IITA and N2Africa are exploring commercial inoculant production through its recently established Business Incubation Platform (BIP). A new building was constructed at the BIP that has ample room to accommodate different inoculant production lines and scales of operation. The factory consists of a warehouse area, a carrier preparation room, a station where broth is prepared and mixed with carrier, a curing room, a product storage room, and a quality control laboratory.  ...

 

PhD story Michael Kermah: Exploring opportunities for sustainable intensification of grain legumes towards improving crop productivity, food security and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in northern Ghana

Field work was started in the Cropping season of 2013 from May to November 2013.

Two field trials have been conducted as follows and preliminary data analysis done: 1) Effect of intercropping patterns on biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) and crop productivity and 2) Effect of cowpea-maize relay intercropping on biological nitrogen fixation and crop productivity across fields of different soil fertility levels in northern Guinea and Sudan savanna agroecological zones of Ghana. ...

Presenting the first six months report of Phase II

N2Africa Phase II is going full speed ahead, and we’ve already had our first round of reporting to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In the first months of N2Africa Phase II, we have made good progress towards Objective 1 - Project strategy, coordination and implementation and capacity strengthening. Country teams were formed and soon after involved in many meetings and workshops. In addition, an overall technical expertise team, leading activities across all countries, has been established. With this flying start ...

Other N2Africa reports published recently

On June 30th the report on Media events in N2Africa (related to Milestone 4.4.4) was published. It tells about ways that were used so far to get the N2Africa message disseminated widely.

Humidtropics conference

Humidtropics is organizing an International Conference on Integrated Systems for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, 7-10 October 2014 in Ibadan, Nigeria. For the conference website, poster and announcement follow this link.