IFDC Report, Volume 23, No. 1

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This report provides a summary of the essential findings and initiatives discussed in the report, highlighting the following topics: agricultural growth in Albania, soil fertility action plans in West Africa, peri-urban vegetable production research in Togo, the use of phosphate rock as a soil amendment in Africa, and recent publications on environmental challenges in fertilizer production. The report begins by examining the agricultural production growth in Albania, highlighting the increase in average annual growth rate and improved crop yields. The role of the USAID-funded project in promoting agricultural development and supporting farmer associations and agribusinesses is emphasized. The focus shifts to the Soil Fertility Initiative (SFI) led by the World Bank in sub-Saharan Africa. The report discusses the collaborative efforts of IFDC with national governments in West Africa to raise awareness about soil fertility improvement and develop national strategies and action plans. Various activities related to fertilizer sector studies and promoting input and product markets in different countries are highlighted. The report then presents the collaboration between IFDC-Africa and the University of Benin in Togo for peri-urban vegetable production research. The study explores the economics of vegetable production, emphasizing its contribution to income generation and food security in the Lome area. The importance of integrated approaches to soil fertility improvement and the challenges related to access to fertilizers and land titles are discussed. Additionally, the report addresses using phosphate rock as a valuable soil amendment under African conditions. Research findings are presented comparing phosphate rock and soluble phosphate sources for phosphorus supply in cereal/legume rotations. The potential benefits and limitations of phosphate rock as a soil amendment are examined in the context of soil fertility restoration. Finally, the report mentions a recent publication by IFDC titled "Environmental Challenges of Fertilizer Production," which compiles papers presented at an international workshop. The publication focuses on the progress, pitfalls, and challenges faced in environmental aspects of fertilizer production.
Soil fertility, Fertilizers