The Fertile Grounds Initiative
The Fertile Grounds Initiative (FGI) was designed as a coordinated strategy of collaboration between actors in nutrient management at various spatial scales. FGI is based on eight subcomponents, which bring together the supply and demand of nutrients within a specific geographical area to make optimum use of site-specific interventions and available nutrients, supplemented with external imports.
FGI expects to make a significant practical contribution to sustainable development in areas with limited soil fertility and nutrient availability, while at the same time resolving problems arising from nutrient excess in certain parts of the country and from (urban) waste streams, turning these into economic assets.
There are several pathways of change that have been proposed to increase the productive capacity of soils. However, with current trends – globalization, urbanization, resource scarcity and climate change – new approaches are required. In our view, such approaches should be based on Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM), which includes the application of both mineral fertilizers and organic manures. Subsequently, ISFM should be supplemented with site-specific interventions and a better match between supply and demand of (locally available) nutrients to make the best use of available resources, reduce environmental impacts and enhance green economic growth.