The potential of integrated soil fertility management for closing the yield gap in Ethiopia
Julia Doldt1, Kidist Yilma1, Jim Ellis-Jones2, Steffen Schulz1
1Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Integrated Soil Fertility Management Project (ISFM+), Ethiopia
The dominant farming systems across the Ethiopian highlands includes cereals, notably wheat, maize, teff, sorghum and barley with faba bean being a widely grown legume. Key constraints limiting yields are soil degradation and low soil fertility. The Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM+) Project has collected and analysed data from hundreds of farmer-managed demonstration plots over a 5-year period. These compare farmers’ practices (control) with demonstrations using at least three ISFM practices. They included the use of agricultural lime on acidic soils, improved seed, organic fertiliser, rhizobia on legumes, green manure and some inorganic fertiliser. The yields of 1,878 one-year short-term demonstrations, maintained for one season and 103 long-term demonstrations, maintained for five years were measured. The results were used to evaluate the effect of ISFM on grain yields.
Keywords: Ethiopian highlands, integrated soil fertility management, lime, soil acidity, yields
Contact Address: Kidist Yilma, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Integrated Soil Fertility Management Project (ISFM+), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, e-mail: kidist.yilmagiz.de