Fertilizers and low emission development in sub-Saharan Africa
This policy brief (PDF) by CGIAR argues that an opportunity exists in Africa to meet the future food security needs while using N fertilizers efficiently. Many countries in Africa included fertilizer use, soil fertility management, and agricultural inputs as part of their contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement. While nitrogen (N) fertilizers contribute substantially to nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions globally, emissions from fertilizers are still low in sub-Saharan Africa. Greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer usage in sub-Saharan Africa are currently low due to low application rates of nitrogen fertilizers. Projections of future food needs in Africa point to the need for substantial increases in nutrient inputs on cropland. To meet the future food security needs and contribute to the Paris Climate Agreement efficient use of N fertilizers is needed. Efficient use of N fertilizers requires combining balanced and appropriate nutrient inputs with good agronomic practices, such as the use of improved, high-yielding varieties that are adapted to local conditions and needs, application and recycling of available organic matter, water harvesting and irrigation under drought stress conditions, and lime application on soils with acidity-related problems. Policies for soil fertility management in the context of climate goals may consider the need to: – Improve the availability, access and affordability of organic and inorganic nutrient inputs, along with other key inputs such as high-yielding varieties; – build capacity in adaptive nutrient management and agronomic best practices that support crop productivity; – ensure equitable access to inputs, particularly for women and vulnerable groups.