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The Potential Role of Organic Soil Fertility Management in the Kenya Highlands

Bett, Msc Eric; Freyer, Prof. Bernhard and Leonhartsberger, Msc Philipp (2007) The Potential Role of Organic Soil Fertility Management in the Kenya Highlands. Paper at: 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress, Modena, Italy, June, 16-20, 2008. [Unpublished]

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Summary

Soil fertility degradation still remains the single most important constraint to food production in the Kenyan Highlands. It is estimated that 64% of the population resides in the highlands, with population densities in some areas of over 1000 persons/km2. Use of inorganic fertilisers on smallholdings in the Kenya Highlands has been steadily declining since the 1960s, when heavy promotion and subsidization of fertilisers coincided with the release of improved maize varieties and the creation of co-operatives such as the Kenya Grain Growers Co-operative Union. Currently, their use continues to be constrained by their high cost, the low purchasing power of smallholders, and limited access to credit facilities. Farm sizes are getting smaller, and this promotes continuous cropping with limited scope for crop rotation and inadequate soil fertility replenishment. Soil fertility improvement can be achieved through organic farming techniques such as biomass transfer, re-activation of the ‘N bulge’, and phosphorus scavenging. Legume intercropping with maize – Kenya’s staple food – as well as the implementation of short rain legume fallows are known to enhance maize yields in most cases.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Soil fertility, Kenya highlands, smallholders, legumes, organic farming
Subjects:"Organics" in general > Country reports > Africa
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2008: IFOAM OWC: Research Track / ISOFAR > 2.1 Soil fertility
International Conferences > 2008: IFOAM OWC: Research Track / ISOFAR
Deposited By: Bett, Mr. Eric Kiprotich
ID Code:12658
Deposited On:22 Sep 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:36
Document Language:English
Status:Unpublished
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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