Improving nutrient management recommendation for maize in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

Sustainable crop production intensification in smallholder farming systems in developing countries will require concurrent increase of crop yields and nutrient use efficiencies. The lack of appropriate fertilizer recommendations tailored to highly variable growing conditions at the farm level is a major challenge for improving nutrient use efficiencies and total factor productivity.

Nutrient Expert® (NE) was developed as a simple decision support tool for assisting researchers and extension systems in providing nutrient management recommendations to farmers. Field evaluation of NE recommendations in maize-based cropping systems in India and Africa showed consistent improvements of maize yields and nutrient use efficiencies in diverse climatic conditions, agroecologial zones and soil types. NE provides a simple and cost-effective approach for large-scale dissemination of site-specific fertilizer recommendations in global smallholder farming systems.