IFDC Report, Volume 28, No. 1

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This publication highlights the innovative approach of the Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) project, developed by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), to stimulate agricultural development in West Africa. The project aims to disseminate information and knowledge about ISFM among farmer organizations, agricultural input dealers, and policymakers at the village and regional levels. The study focuses on the experiences of Madja Koumboguidja and his wife Gbanyab, two Togolese farmers who have successfully implemented ISFM practices on their 3-hectare farm. The region where the farmers reside receives limited rainfall, and the soil fertility is extremely low, posing significant challenges to crop production. Madja and Gbanyab adopted an innovative farming system that integrates crop, livestock, and agroforestry elements to overcome these obstacles. They gradually intensified agricultural production by combining organic and mineral fertilizers, implementing erosion control measures, and employing crop association, rotation, and diversification techniques. The study illustrates how the adoption of ISFM practices transformed the lives of Madja and his family. With increased agricultural productivity, they could improve their livelihoods, feed their family, purchase agricultural equipment, increase their livestock, and send their five children to school. Their farming system's success was achieved by adapting management strategies tailored to different soil types, field histories, rainfall patterns, crop associations, and available financial resources. The findings of this publication demonstrate the potential of ISFM in overcoming soil fertility limitations and improving agricultural productivity. The experiences of Madja and Gbanyab inspire other farmers and provide valuable insights for policymakers and organizations working in the agricultural sector. The ISFM project, facilitated by IFDC and partner organizations, holds promise for sustainable agricultural development in West Africa and beyond.
Food security, Agribusiness, Agricultural productivity