Assessing current use and future potential of legumes and symbiotic nitrogen fixation in Africa

The Agricultural Green Revolution of the 20th century, which resulted from plant breeding and increased fertilizer use, led to food sufficiency and security in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, the cost of nitrogenous fertilizers excluded the poorest farmers from reaping the benefits of the Green Revolution.  Symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) in legumes provides a free and sustainable alternative to industrial nitrogen fertilizers that enhances primary production on smallholder farms.  However, there are potential limitations to the efficiency of SNF that can reduce greatly its contribution to agriculture.  This project will assess the current use of legumes in Africa and identify major limitations to SNF on the continent as a prelude to enhancing legumes and SNF for sustainable agriculture here.

Project leader(s):
  • Michael Udvardi (Noble Foundation, Oklahoma)