Browsing by Subject "Agricultural development"
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- Item2006/07 IFDC Corporate Report(2007) IFDCThe Agricultural Marketing and Production Support (AMPS) project, implemented by IFDC in Afghanistan, aimed to strengthen the country's agri-input system and increase farmer participation in legal crop production. The project provided agricultural inputs and post-harvest support to farmers in 10 provinces, focusing on cultivating marketable crops. The project received funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.K.'s Department for International Development (DFID). The objectives of AMPS included increasing crop yields and quality, improving crop marketing efficiency, and enhancing the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) capacity to serve farmers. Through the project, over 200,000 farmers received agricultural input packages, and the quality of fertilizers supplied to farmers was ensured through rigorous testing. AMPS also contributed to developing agri-input dealer associations and facilitated market linkages between farmers and dealers. The success of AMPS led to the continuation of agricultural market development efforts in Afghanistan through the Accelerated Sustainable Agriculture Program (ASAP) and the Food for Agricultural Revitalization and Market Systems (FARMS) project. These initiatives aimed to strengthen the agri-input marketing system further, improve irrigation practices, enhance crop production, and promote value addition in the agricultural sector.
- ItemDiagnosing Soil Degradation and Fertilizer Use Relationship for Sustainable Cotton Production in Benin(2018-01-05) Barthelemy G. HonfogaIn Benin and many other cotton-producing countries of West Africa, unsustainable natural resource management is hindering agricultural growth, food security, and poverty reduction. This study addressed the sustainability of fertilizerbased soil fertility management practices in Benin. It diagnosed the relationship between differential soil degradation status over space and fertilizer use in cotton production systems. Referring to sound land use principles, it found that present fertilizer use practices overlook the spatial differences in soil fertility status in exportoriented cotton production systems. Considering more relevant short-run fertilizer needs based on desirable fertilizer doses, the potentials for sustainable fertilizer use were then assessed considering the likelihood of change towards best practices of integrated soil fertility management. More rational fertilizer use practices will be critical in the future to inducing higher cotton yields while preserving the environment. Adjusting current fertilizer recommendations to site-specific soil conditions is urgently required to enhance the sustainability of cotton production systems in Benin. Fertilizer policies will need to rely on updated information on soil and land use dynamics, and be innovative enough to induce a steady increase in agricultural productivity and improved net incomes cotton growers.
- ItemDo Theories of Change Enable Innovation Platforms and Partnerships to Navigate Towards Impact?(2017) Sietze Vellema; Yiheyis Taddele Maru; Julia Ekong; Paul McNamara; Ann Waters-Bayer ; David Watson; Jan BrouwersTheories of change (ToCs) are increasingly used to articulate pathways for interventions and to support learning. This responds to the recognition of the complexity of agricultural development. Through two examples, this paper examines how ToCs have enabled practitioners to navigate towards impact in settings characterized by a multiplicity of views from different actors on issues of joint concern. The cases discuss how the intervention programs test the ToCs, as well as organize and reflect on feedback. The cases reveal that one cannot predict the route to impact, but one can compose plausible story lines explicating the assumptions. Developing and using ToCs takes time and requires a deliberate effort to monitor actions and changes. Connecting practitioners with researchers makes it possible to use more intermediate theorisations tailored to situated and specific impact pathways. However, the dynamics captured by ToCs may contrast with the donors’ demands for accountability and consistent reliance on a rigid log-frame approach to determine project activities and outputs. Therefore, it is relevant to make explicit choices about how to relate ToCs to M&E efforts
- ItemEnvironmental Degradation Effect on Agricultural Development: An Aggregate and a Sectoral Evidence of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Ghana(2022-02) Paul Adjei Kwakwa; Hamdiyah Alhassan; William AdzawlaPurpose – Quality environment is argued to be essential for ensuring food security. The effect of environmental degradation on agriculture has thus gained the attention of researchers. However, the analyses of aggregate and sectoral effect of carbon dioxide emissions on agricultural development are limited in the literature. Consequently, this study examines the effect of aggregate and sectoral carbon emissions on Ghana’s agricultural development. Design/methodology/approach – Time-series data from 1971 to 2017 are employed for the study. Regression analysis and a variance decomposition analysis are employed in the study. Findings – The results show that the country’s agricultural development is negatively affected by aggregate carbon emission while financial development, labour and capital increases agricultural development. Further, industrial development and emissions from transport sector, industrial sector and other sectors adversely affect Ghana’s agriculture development. The contribution of carbon emission together with other explanatory variables to the changes in agricultural development generally increases over the period. Originality/value – This study analyses the aggregate and sectoral carbon dioxide emission effect on Ghana’s agricultural development.
- ItemFERTINEWS-January 2023(2023-01)The January 2023 edition of FertiNews highlights the rebranding of AfricaFertilizer.org as AfricaFertilizer, unveiling a revamped AfricaFertilizer.org (AFO) website. This rebranding aligns with the organization's commitment to delivering reliable, accurate, timely fertilizer data and information to support fertilizer market systems across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The enhanced website offers comprehensive data on fertilizer supply chains and availability in more than 18 SSA countries, establishing AfricaFertilizer as the primary source for fertilizer-related data on the African continent. The article introduces two essential publications: the quarterly FertiNews, offering insights into in-country fertilizer market prices, analysis, and situation reports, and the monthly Africa Fertilizer Watch, focusing on monitoring the impact of global fertilizer price surges, availability, and affordability across Africa. Key national fertilizer market comments are presented, addressing market dynamics, pricing trends, government initiatives, and agricultural developments in various African countries. The article also covers notable news stories involving the African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) receiving funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), Madagascar's fertilizer investment seeking, and the approval of funds for a limestone granule factory in Ebonyi, Nigeria.
- ItemIFDC Report, Volume 11, No. 3(1986-09) IFDCThis report highlights the establishment of the IFDC-Africa Center, an initiative by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) to enhance its presence and promote agricultural development in the tropics and subtropics of Africa. The Government of Togo has played a crucial role by providing land and granting international immunities and privileges to support the centre's establishment. Plans are underway to secure donor support for infrastructure development and staffing to station staff in Togo by 1987. The IFDC-Africa Center, located near the Togolese phosphate mine and port facilities, focuses on technology research and development, training, and technical assistance in collaboration with national and international stations. The center's objectives include addressing constraints to fertilizer use, promoting the utilization of indigenous resources as fertilizers, and filling personnel needs in the fertilizer sector. The report also announces the appointment of Dr Paul L.G. Vlek as the Director of the IFDC-Africa Center and highlights his experience and contributions to IFDC's research programs. Additionally, it mentions the new leadership in the Agro-Economic Division and the acquisition of a patent on urease inhibitors, which can help reduce nitrogen loss in agricultural soils. The report concludes by discussing the completion of a fertilizer distribution plan in Indonesia, outlining the challenges and projections for fertilizer movement in the country over the next decade.
- ItemIFDC Report, Volume 17, No. 3(1992-09) IFDCThis report presents a comprehensive profile of Dr Paul J. Stangel, a distinguished international development official, researcher, and former President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC). Dr Stangel's remarkable career spans several decades, during which he played a pivotal role in shaping the agricultural development landscape of developing countries, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. He focused on integrating fertilizer into sustainable and economically viable nutrient management programs for small farmers and establishing agribusiness programs. This report highlights Dr Stangel's contributions, including his advancements in nitrogen fertilizer efficiency and his work in various positions such as agronomist, deputy managing director, and president of IFDC. The report acknowledges Dr Stangel's expertise in research and development, technical assistance, and training programs, emphasizing his lasting impact on improving food production and enhancing the quality of life for people in developing countries.
- ItemIFDC Report, Volume 26, No. 2(2001-12) IFDCThis report highlights the recent launch of IFDC's redesigned website, which offers enhanced features such as electronic commerce capabilities and online registration for training programs. It also discusses the restructuring of IFDC's organizational structure to accommodate its expanded mandate, focusing on resource development, market development, and regional divisions in Africa and Asia. Additionally, the report showcases IFDC's ongoing projects, including developing agricultural input markets in Nigeria and strengthening peasant and farmers' organizations in West Africa. Overall, the report emphasizes IFDC's commitment to promoting effective plant nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise to enhance agricultural productivity worldwide.
- ItemIFDC Report, Volume 27, No. 1(2002-06) IFDCThis report provides an overview of three initiatives aimed at improving the supply and quality of agricultural inputs by establishing trade associations in different regions. The first initiative focuses on the southern oblasts of Kyrgyzstan, where the development of an agribusiness trade association aims to address the challenges of credit availability, lack of information, and a corrupt business environment. The association aims to improve access to seed, fertilizer, and crop protection products, thereby boosting agricultural production and alleviating rural poverty. The second case study examines the success of Albania's private sector-led growth in agriculture and business. The report highlights the establishment of trade associations and a federation, which have played a crucial role in advocating policy reform and promoting agribusiness growth. The development of the extra virgin olive oil processing sector is presented as a notable success story, showcasing increased production, investment, and export opportunities. The third initiative focuses on Azerbaijan and its efforts to enhance agricultural production, spur agribusiness growth, and generate employment. The project aims to establish clusters of agricultural input dealers in critical regions, improving their ability to supply inputs and technology to farmers. By providing training, access to credit, and organizational support through a trade association, the project aims to boost grain yields and foster private sector-driven economic growth. Additionally, the report highlights the importance of international collaborations and knowledge exchange in promoting the development of trade associations. Case studies from the United States, Kosovo, and Benin demonstrate how learning from successful models, lobbying experiences, and partnerships can contribute to the sustainability and effectiveness of trade associations in different contexts.
- ItemIFDC Report, Volume 30, No. 1(2005-06) IFDCThis publication highlights the launch of the "Strengthening Networks of Regional Market Information Systems and Traders' Organizations in West Africa" (MISTOWA) project, aimed at increasing agricultural trade in West Africa through improved market information access. The project focuses on strengthening market information systems (MIS) in West African countries to provide real-time and accurate information to farmers and traders, enabling them to make informed decisions in a competitive market environment. The publication discusses the objectives, implementation, and impact of MISTOWA, emphasizing its alignment with regional integration efforts and the potential benefits for agricultural development in the region. The project's funding, coverage, and the use of information technology tools to facilitate market information dissemination are also highlighted. The publication concludes with statements from various stakeholders, affirming the importance of increasing intra-regional agricultural trade and enforcing protocols to achieve the project's objectives.
- ItemIFDC Report, Volume 35, No. 1(2010-03) IFDCAfricaFertilizer.org is a newly launched global forum designed to disseminate and exchange information on fertilizers, soil fertility, and agricultural issues in Africa. This website is a valuable resource, providing agricultural information to stakeholders involved in the movement towards food self-sufficiency in Africa, including farm organizations, researchers, policymakers, extension specialists, agro-input industry representatives, the private sector, donors, funding agencies, and the media. Partially funded by the Strategic Alliance for Agricultural Development in Africa (SAADA) project of the Netherlands' Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), AfricaFertilizer.org is created and maintained by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC). The website offers interactive features like an Africa-wide nutrient depletion map, downloadable publications, news updates, and other crucial information for agricultural intensification. The concept of AfricaFertilizer.org emerged from the Africa Fertilizer Summit and is expected to contribute to the African Green Revolution, supporting the needs of smallholder farmers. IFDC President and CEO Amit H. Roy emphasize the significance of providing accessible information through AfricaFertilizer.org to fuel the agricultural transformation that African farmers urgently require. IFDC operates through various divisions focused on soil nutrient management, agribusiness development, and resource conservation across Africa. These divisions include EurAsia Division (EAD), East and Southern Africa Division (ESAFD), North and West Africa Division (NWAFD), and Research and Development Division (RDD). Furthermore, IFDC is also implementing the Catalyze Accelerated Agricultural Intensification for Social and Environmental Stability (CATALIST) project in Central Africa's Great Lakes Region (CAGLR). CATALIST aims to reinforce peace, environmental stability, and agricultural production by mobilizing local resources and assisting farming communities. The project utilizes sustainable agricultural intensification methodologies, commodity value chain development, and labour-intensive infrastructure improvements to create accessible and profitable agricultural inputs and outputs markets. Notable achievements of the CATALIST project include increased agro-input trade, farmer income opportunities, new technologies, training programs, and the development of value chains. Another initiative called the MIR Plus project (Marketing Inputs Regionally) also focuses on developing a regional agro-input market in West Africa. This project aims to improve farmers' productivity and access to affordable fertilizers, seeds, and crop protection products. By strengthening policy environments, supporting innovative approaches, providing technical and market information, and establishing links between producers' organizations and agro-dealers, MIR Plus aims to increase yields and economic opportunities for farmers in the region. The development of agricultural value chains is identified as a crucial strategy for poverty reduction in rural areas. Value chain development empowers small-scale farmers to participate more effectively in the agro-food industry by linking farmers with processors, marketers, and buyers. Examples from Ghana highlight the positive outcomes achieved by empowering farmers through coaching and facilitating market linkages, leading to increased income and improved livelihoods.
- ItemRestoring and Maintaining the Productivity of West African Soils: Key to Sustainable Development(1996-02) IFDCThe Earth has become a Global Village, and West Africa is a slum in a dismal state of disrepair. More especially the all-important agricultural sector - the engine of economic growth - is going through unprecedented hard times. Locally produced cash crops, the main revenue earner for most governments, face increased competition from other producing regions where there have been substantial productivity increases and greater production efficiency. In some instances, consumer nations have found substitutes. Yields of food crops have steadily declined; at the same time, the number of mouths to feed is increasing more rapidly than at any other time in history. Market incentives for farmers are few because cheap imports of rice, wheat, and meat have become staples for the urban wage earners. Much-needed structural adjustment programs have had their downside effects on agriculture as the ensuing higher prices of external inputs such as inorganic fertilizers have discouraged farmers and caused them to avoid fertilizer use. Because of increased demographic pressure and decreasing yields, established practices for the restoration and maintenance of soil fertility as is typical of shifting cultivation have given way to exploitative continuous cropping. As farmers' yields decrease, area expansion is the only means available to them to increase the absolute amounts of food produced. Marginal lands are thus brought under cultivation. Deforestation, uncontrolled erosion, loss of biodiversity and overstocking continue to destroy an already fragile ecosystem while investments to maintain the productive capacity of the soil, i.e., its nutrient stocks, are virtually nonexistent. The net result is that more and more of the rural population is being drawn into the heart of the poverty spiral. For these people, the pains from the population, poverty, and environment nexus are all too real. The above scenario has to be viewed in the context of a region where the inherent fertility of the soils is very low. Increased cropping intensity without replacing the nutrients that the crops remove annually has resulted in the mining of this small pool of native nutrients. Meanwhile, soil degradation, both physically and chemically, has become irreversible in many ecosystems because the soil resilience is very limited. For the next 10-20 years, West African governments and the international community cannot afford a "business-as-usual" attitude. Sustainable development, however, calls for a clear assessment of the constraints to agricultural growth and the development and implementation of a number of interventions. This must be done soon and conscientiously. Time is not on the side of the West African people. The implementation of the interventions must be led by national governments, using the ingenuity of a properly sensitized farming community. Inevitably, the implementation also requires considerable institutional, scientific, and financial support from the international banking and donor community. Technologies Over the past fifty or more years, technologies to improve the productive capacity of West African soils have been generated. Unfortunately, these technologies have not been transferred to or implemented by the intended beneficiaries. The known technologies for restoring soil fertility can be grouped as follows: • Increased and more efficient use of mineral fertilizers. • Exploitation and use of locally available soil amendments such as phosphate rocks, lime, and dolomites. • Maximum recycling of organic products, both from within and from outside the farm (crop residues, animal manure, urban refuse, compost, etc.). • "Improved" land use systems, based on both indigenous and science-based technologies (rotation in addition to intercropping, agroforestry and related tree-based farming systems, increased use of species that can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, alternatives to slash-and-burn so that fallows can be improved, etc.). • Effective methods to control wind and water erosion, tailored to indigenous knowledge and using local biological and physical resources. • The concept of "integrated nutrient management," which translates into the use of most efficient and attractive combination of previously known technologies, tailored to local farming systems and to specific agroecological niches that play a role at different system levels: regional (subhumid vs. semiarid), district (peri-urban vs. rural), watershed (rainfed uplands vs. valley bottoms), and farm (home garden vs. plots farther away). Constraints Agriculture can only be persistent and sustainable when the technologies are developed with the participation of the end users (and taking into consideration these clients' needs, means, and circumstances). As much as possible, local institutions should lead the way but with adequate support from external research and development institutions. Sustainability is also enhanced by the existence of an enabling policy environment. Constraints that impinge on one or more of the technologies previously listed are as follows: • Mineral fertilizer use is hampered by unavailability of capital and credit, by national and international disincentives, by poor marketing and pricing, and by gender bias. • Use of much cheaper soil amendments is hampered by lack of awareness and misconceptions on the returns to investment in soil fertility restoration using local resources, by low availability of identified local resources, and by lack of institutional support and extension. • Use of organic inputs is limited mainly by lack of labor and sheer relative scarcity as a result of multiple uses. • Non-adoption of "improved" land-use systems is exacerbated by limited knowledge on the need to integrate land use systems into farming systems and thus increase farmers' awareness and perception of the benefits, while specifically highlighting the role of women; by failure to recognize that tree systems and such other long-term investment packages require clear-cut land tenure arrangements. • Labor availability, perceived high investment cost, reluctance to accept a long payback period, and lack of clear-cut land tenure arrangements are the major constraints to adoption of soil conservation measures. • The constraints to integrated nutrient management are combinations of aforementioned constraints; major constraints at this time are limited awareness and perception by researchers, extension workers and (to a lesser extent) farmers, and the open questions that are still to be answered regarding the agronomic performance of integrated nutrient management practices, i.e., is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? Interventions The nature of the technology-constraint combinations has led to structuring of intervention at three levels, i.e., supranational and regional (West Africa), national and district, and village and farm. The major interventions proposed at the different operational levels are summarized below: Supranational and Regional Level • Revisiting impacts of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in view of the need for positive incentives on fertilizer use and agricultural production. • Raising awareness and arriving at a general consensus regarding the use of phosphate rock as a capital investment to enrich the phosphorus pool in West African soils (The World Bank Initiative in this respect is to be lauded). • Developing and promoting economic valuation and discounting of externalities (productivity loss by not implementing anti-erosion policies, failure to consider the residual effect of phosphate rock, export of nutrients to other regions, impact of practices on greenhouse effect, and global climate change). • Raising awareness of the threat of gross migration and the necessity for urgent action to promote survival through, e.g., worldwide funding of a "Marshall Plan" for West Africa. • Promoting meaningful interdisciplinarity in research and development efforts through broadbased ecoregional consortia. • Fostering regional collaboration on all issues where economies of scale would prove beneficial (e.g., common procurement of fertilizers; coordinated production and distribution of phosphate rocks). • Developing and implementing agricultural market development policies, including promotion of crop diversification, improvement of domestic and export market structures, and market information. • Formulating and implementing policy directed at creating economically viable off-farm employment in rural areas (e.g., processing units for oil and karite, small-scale manufacturing). • Implementing and coordinating large-scale soil conservation investment schemes that integrate erection of structures with systems to improve soil fertility (e.g., use of phosphate rock in districts where stone lines have been erected). National and District level • Establishing, at a high political level, Natural Resource or Soil Fertility Management Units to design and implement strategies for the effective development and management of natural resources with special attention to soil fertility restoration and maintenance. • Reinforcing national agricultural research and extension systems and encouraging collaboration with all members of the farming community, including nongovernmental organizations. • Creating an "enabling environment" that promotes agricultural growth: action on credit schemes, post-harvest operations that add value to farm output, output marketing schemes including, where necessary, price guarantee schemes, clear-cut land tenure arrangements, support to institutional and physical infrastructure, fine-tuning fertilizer recommendations for specific cropsoil combinations, and other nonfinancial incentives. • Developing an inventory of natural resources available in the country for use in increasing soil fertility. • Developing policies that reward the maximum use of organic inputs for increased biomass production and that optimize the use of external inputs in the rural and peri-urban sector. Village and Farm level • Promoting a participatory approach to technology generation and validation as the only way to achieve greater adoption. • Promoting financial, technical, and moral support to women's groups. • Promoting "nutrient-saving" and "nutrient-adding" as opposed to "nutrient mining" technologies, where appropriate, while sensitizing farmers to the advantages accruing from adoption of these technologies (e.g., use of energy-saving stoves, kraaling on fields rather than in stables, N-fixing fodder species to be mixed with phosphate rocks through composting, planted stone bunds, fencing off fallows periodically}. • Promoting fertility buildup and intensified production on land that is of high potential such as land in close proximity to homestead and compost pit (relatively highly fertile) and where labor and water are available, in order to give land without such advantages a recuperative period. The Way Forward: The Role of the International Fertilizer Development Center-Africa Since its inception in 1987, the Togo-based Africa Division of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC-Africa} has gained most valuable knowledge on soil fertility and fertilizer use within West Africa. IFDC-Africa has established two networks on fertilizer trade and X marketing (African Fertilizer Trade, Marketing and Information Network, AFTMIN) and on soil fertility management (West African Fertilizer Management and Evaluation Network, WAFMEN) to anchor its two programs- Policy Reform, Market Research and Development Program and Watershed Management Program. IFDC-Africa has conducted detailed fertilizer sector studies in Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ghana, and Mali. These studies address issues related to fertilizer demand, procurement, and domestic marketing. Complementary studies have also been conducted in Ghana and Mali on such policy issues as food security and fertilizer use, agroeconomic potential of fertilizer use, and pricing and macro-economic policy environments. These detailed studies conclude with recommendations for all players in the national fertilizer sector. Program scientists conduct follow-up activities to help ensure that policymakers act upon these recommendations. In 1994 the Federal Government of Nigeria commissioned IFDC to design a program for the liberalization of the fertilizer sector. Recently, IFDC-Africa completed a study on Ghana titled "Ghana Fertilizer Privatization Scheme: Private Sector Roles and Public Sector Responsibilities in Meeting Needs of Farmers." In November 1994 IFDC-Africa organized a seminar on the use of locally occurring phosphate rocks for soil fertility improvement in West Africa; the proceedings of this seminar have been published. This accumulated knowledge is valuable and is beginning to have an impact on the "character" of agriculture in the respective countries. It is also apparent that an action-oriented approach by governments to tackle the problems of degraded soils, deforestation leading to loss of biodiversity and desertification, and stagnant or declining yields has proved elusive. IFDC-Africa is firmly convinced that the restoration of soil fertility is key to West Africa's resurrection and is prepared to cooperate with West African governments to design and implement programs that would remove the aforementioned constraints and pave the way to sustainable development.
- ItemRestoring Kosovo's Agriculture Sector After Conflict--IFDC's Involvement(2006-01) IFDCThe Kosovo Conflict, consisting of two sequential conflicts, arose from long-standing tensions between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in the region. From 1996 to 1999, the first conflict was a civil conflict between ethnic Albanian separatists and Serbian and Yugoslav security forces. The conflict escalated with government-sponsored violence against Albanian civilians and intervention by NATO. The second conflict resulted in massive population displacement and significant damage to the agriculture sector. Before the conflicts, agriculture played a vital role in Kosovo's economy, with a significant portion of GDP and employment dependent on the industry. This paper highlights the challenges faced by Kosovo's agriculture sector and the need for its restoration after the conflicts. It emphasizes the importance of private sector participation, the availability of agricultural credit, improved access to agricultural inputs, and the revitalization of agro-processing industries. The program rationale focuses on addressing critical constraints to agribusiness development to stimulate economic growth, stability, and employment opportunities. The program's design aims to achieve a rapid and significant impact on the economy by prioritizing interventions that benefit many stakeholders and promote efficient and dynamic agricultural practices.
- ItemThe Lesson of Drente's 'Essen' Soil Nutrient Depletion in Sub-Saharan Africa and Management Strategies for Soil Replenishment(2008-02) Henk Breman; Bidjokazo Fofana; Abdoulaye MandoThe term "replenishment" is used in a misleading way when it is suggested that soils are poor through depletion by farmers and that soils should be restored to their original state for agricultural development. This philosophy created awareness for problems confronted by African farmers. It neglects, however, the heterogeneous redistribution of nutrients that is inherent to agricultural land use. Active and passive transport of organic matter causes centripetal concentration of nutrients around farms and villages and maintains or even improves the soil fertility of crucial fields at the cost of surrounding land. The advice to use fertilizers on bush fields in view of the use of compost and manure on compound fields is like “putting the cart before the horse”; the value: cost ratio of using inorganic fertilizer on compound fields is higher than that on bush fields given their negative organic matter and nutrient balances. The integrated use of inorganic fertilizers and organic forms of manure triggers a positive spiral of improved nutrient use efficiency and improved soil organic matter status. The increasing value: cost ratio of fertilizer use improves the access to this and other external inputs. Where crop-livestock integration is an important component of the intensifying production system, the centripetal concentration (see footnote 1) can even turn into the opposite, a centrifugal transport that replenishes (planned or unplanned) the depleted surroundings of farms and villages. Active replenishment of depleted soils is no requirement for agricultural development; intensification can start on village fields where fertility is maintained or improved. However, public investment in soils, focusing on reinforcement of the positive effects of the centripetal concentration of organic matter and nutrients, is recommended; it enables farmers to start fertilizer use where even the compound fields at present do not allow it.