Improve access and dissemination of harmonized ISFM information by stakeholders in agriculture research and development.
The overall objective of the consortium is to compile, share and scale up Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) technologies in Mozambique in order to improve food security and income among small-scale and resource-poor farmers in agriculture research and development.
Various agricultural development programs and institutions are working in the various rural communities and have been promoting different ISFM technologies in Mozambique. Currently, progress in agricultural development is being achieved through individual program intervention, but there could be greater success if there were coordinated interventions.
A number of national and regional organizations have been established for promoting various nutrient management practices. More recently, consultation among agricultural and non-agricultural partners of the Conservation Agriculture (CA), for instance, have proposed new approaches for improving agricultural productivity that aims to appropriately embed several agricultural research institutions working in partnership with IIAM within broader team under the umbrella of PIAT (Platform for Agricultural Innovation and Technology Transfer) supported by USAID, whereby knowledge from different expertise is integrated and effectively put into use for improving crop productivity and farmers’ income. In recent years, CIAT and CIMMYT have been testing different CA technologies in central Mozambique. The Sustainable Intensification of Maize and Legumes Systems in the Eastern and Southern Africa project (SIMLESA) has extensively promoted maize-bean rotation in the Beira Corridor. The McKnight Foundation has been working for many years in testing bean varieties believed to be highly efficient in P uptake. The IFDC in partnership with Potash Institute and the International Sulphur Institutes has been testing maize response to K- and sulphur-containing fertilizers in major agricultural production areas in Central Mozambique. ICRISAT-Mozambique has tested micro-dosing on maize in the Limpopo basin. Mozambique is among African countries under the AGRA Portfolio 1 countries, due to its high agricultural potential. In the past two years, AGRA has put in place a number of agricultural investments in three major breadbasket regions along the corridors of development in the country aiming to improve food production through the promotion of ISFM innovations. These research works could provide valuable information to the farmers and policy makers for supporting agricultural productivity, but much of the results are not available to the farmers due to lack of coordination and good communication mechanisms among the programs and institutions. Conflicting messages and overlap of experiments by these stakeholders results in duplication of efforts and wastage of resources. Additionally, they confuse farmers and policy makers reducing the potential of resulting innovations to enhance crop productivity, boost food security and household income.
The Soil Health Consortium of Mozambique (SHCM) was established in 2013 with the funding from AGRA to bring all key stakeholders together in harmonizing ISFM information. This consortium will seek to understand, which technologies work best where with the aim of promoting them where they perform best. Expected outcomes of this consortium include:
The country level soil health consortia project is an initiative of key agricultural actors to solve the problem of food insecurity and poverty through bringing together all the professionals, industrial actors and market players in the agricultural value chain to consolidate, synthesize and develop effective messages key in revolutionizing agricultural production in Africa.
The consortia were set up through funding from AGRA on the premise that a lot has been done in Africa, but the actual impact on household food security and incomes is not evident. The East and Southern Africa mandate consisting of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Mozambique and Ethiopia is led by the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI). Read more