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 Rwanda in order to improve food security and income among small-scale and resource-poor farmers in agriculture research and development.
The Rwandan economy is based predominantly on agriculture, contributing for 36 percent of GDP and accounting nearly 71 % of revenue from exports. Despite the main role of agriculture in Rwandan economy and the need to ensure population food security, the sector is currently facing critical challenges.
The weak linkages and lack of sufficient information sharing between soil health actors point to the need for a coordinating mechanism (consortium), which address the existing problems of duplication of efforts, wasteful use of scarce resources, discordant messages being relayed to the farmers, resulting in confusion and low adoption of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) technologies and insignificant impacts at the smallholder level.
Soil fertility management, seed system and crop disease managementhave remained key constraints to improving farm productivity and livelihoods.Disseminating knowledge of ISFM and developing incentives for its adoptionrepresents a means to overcome above constraints by offering farmers better returns to investment in fertilizer resources and other agriculture inputs. A Rwanda Soil Health Consortium (RWASHCO) has been established to improve understanding of the soil resource information and access to inputs as necessary countermeasure for enhanced farmers’ benefits from ISFM application.
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