Integrated Management of Soil Fertility and Land Resources in Sub-Saharan Africa: Involving Local Communities

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The soils of sub-Saharan Africa are characterized by their poverty in nutrients along with low clay and organic carbon content and low exchange capacity. There is high pressure on land resources with the quick growth of population and demand for food. Maintaining the fertility of cultivated soils and land resources is a challenge. Since the paradigm of “external input” in the 1960s and 1970s, to the latest concept of integrated soil fertility management, most of the approaches remain crop oriented or livestock oriented with less attention to local communities (LC), which are at the heart of land resource management. This chapter suggests a new integrated and holistic approach involving LC for land resources management, including cultivated soils and rangelands. A global framework is proposed for development of management options of land resources with LC. It is a dynamic process of participative management of lands as providers of services for the entire community.