Welcome to our second issue of Growing Africa! We start with a feature introducing all the recipients of our 2022 Award and Grant programs. APNI is proud to support this innovative group of 17 scholars, researchers and educators that represent 9 countries across Africa. Note that we have provided our 2023 schedule of application deadlines inside as we look to continue these initiatives next year.
Since forum building is an important part of this publication’s mission, this issue introduces two new opportunities to take advantage of. Our inaugural “Ask an APNI Expert” column covers the basics of what to consider while developing precision agriculture models. More plant nutrition-related questions are encouraged! Secondly, our brand-new photo contest is now accepting entries. The goals of the contest are to encourage the art of field scouting and crop diagnostics through the sharing of crop nutrient deficiency imagery (Category 1), and to promote illustrative examples of plant nutrition research in action (Category 2).
On the research side, we begin with a story providing early insights from a pan-African on-farm experimentation project on maize cropping systems. You’ll learn how this farmer-led research model is establishing a co-learning environment that shows promise for scalability due to its ability to engage with participating farmers and others nearby. The common thread for the next two research articles is the challenge of managing for variability. First, Kenyan research on maize cropping systems clearly describes the degree to which nutrient responses vary across time and space. The study also provides short-term nutrient management options in this era of especially low access to affordable fertilizer inputs. Next, we learn about the major drivers and impact of a variable climate on Malawian farmers, and local research working to popularize a more sustainable and diversified cropping system. Crop diversification is the subject of the next article from Tanzania. Legume intercropping with maize shows both short and long-term residual nutrient benefits, as well as improved nutrient recycling and input savings on-farm. Lastly, we share a newly produced map of soil phosphorus (P) bioavailability for Africa. This map confirms that the continent’s highly weathered soils combined with chronically low P input has generated widespread limitations compared to other regions of the world.
Finally, a reminder that Growing Africa strives to provide an outlet for your applied African-centric research on plant nutrition. If you are considering a submission, contact us or review our guide for authors available from our website: https://growingafrica.pub
Managing Editor, Growing Africa