"Already, our samples are telling us that Ethiopia’s soil is deficient in as many as six essential nutrients.” -Samuel Gameda, IFPRI Senior Research Fellow.
In 2009, IFPRI’s soil diagnostic study, commissioned by the Gates Foundation at the request of late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, confirmed that Ethiopia’s soils are greatly degraded and in need of immediate soil health and fertility management. IFPRI’s report laid the foundation for the EthioSIS project, with researchers recommending a national soil information structure along with tailored soil fertility management across the country, based on local soil needs and types.
This year, IFPRI, along with the EIAR and a team of soil scientists from Cornel University, will evaluate the ATA’s blended fertilizer project. Researchers will study a set of 1,000 model farmers to measure levels of adoption and to identify factors that constrain farmers from adopting the ATA’s fertilizer recommendations. The team will also look at the Value Cost Ratio (VCR) of fertilizer use in different areas of the country. This information will help the ATA and the MoA target fertilizer distribution or set up blending facilities in areas where fertilizer use is most profitable and will reduce transportation costs.
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