Scaling climate-smart nutrient management tools in Africa | Global Challenges Programme project

Photo: S. Kilungu (CCAFS)
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Project description

This project “Understanding and improving scaling readiness of climate-smart, nutrient management decision support tools (DST) in different institutional environments: Ethiopia & Tanzania” addresses the challenge of scaling climate-smart nutrient management among African smallholder farmers by addressing the institutional factors and conditions relating to CSA knowledge service delivery (the CCAFS overall research question).

It aims to understand and improve the ‘scaling readiness’ of climate-smart, nutrient management decision support tools (DST) in different institutional environments: Ethiopia and Tanzania. ‘Scaling readiness’ is seen as the product of: (a) the fit between the DSTs (and its constituent climate-smart nutrient management advice) and their envisaged users who operate at different scales, and; (b) the necessary (institutional) conditions which enable scaling by these different actors (i.e. extension, NGOs, agro-dealers). By working directly with different users operating at different scales, we examine the user logics that can inform the design of better decision support tools and the enabling (institutional) environments, which together shape the effective scaling of climate-smart nutrient management advice.

The CCAFS project “Bringing CSA practices to scale: assessing their contributions to narrow nutrient and yield gaps” quantifies nutrient input gaps for various levels of maize yield gap closure in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. It develops nutrient management packages using the 4R principles for fertilizer use (Right type, Right amount, Right time and Right place) for smallholder maize growers in different environments. The project also assesses economic and GHG emission performance of different alternatives. The project then focuses on effective scaling.

The project closely aligns with the Taking Maize Agronomy to Scale (TAMASA) project, led by CIMMYT and funded by BMGF. Together with its partners in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Nigeria, TAMASA co-develops data collection, analytics and decision support tools (DSTs)such as mobile phone and computer-based applicationsto transform knowledge and input service provision infrastructures. One major focus of TAMASA is the development and implementation at scale of nutrient management DSTs, whichlike P250build on 4R principles. Through the provision of site and area-specific nutrient management advice, the DSTs contribute to more balanced nutrient use, increasing nutrient use efficiency (NUE), lower GHG emissions per unit of product, and yield increases and/or cost-savings for smallholder maize farmers and input-on-credit providers. Collaboration with TAMASA on the institutionalization of nutrient management DSTs thus contributes directly to WP4 (scaling-out CSA practices) of the related CCAFS project and its impact pathway.


Ethiopia and Tanzania


Further information

For more information, please contact the project leaders:

This project is one of eight projects working to scale climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices in East Africa that were funded in the fourth call of the Food & Business Global Challenges Program (GCP4). 

The GCP4 is a collaboration between CCAFSNWO-WOTRO and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, under the recently established NL-CGIAR partnership.