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September 14th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Africa has the lowest use of nitrogen on its farmland compared to other regions of the world. This is because smallholder farmers have limited financial resources to buy fertilisers. Nitrogen is one of the most essential nutrients needed by plants for their growth, development and reproduction. Yet it is depleted in most African soils.

Soil depletion over the years has led farmers to open new land to maintain their production. This has often led to increased deforestation and encroachment on marginal areas. The result over time has been declining farm production and family incomes as well as poor nutrition.

Empowering farmers to increase legume production can turn the tide for African farmers. See more