The effects of soil acidity on agricultural soils in Africa are a major constraint to crop production and sustainable intensification of the African smallholder farming system. To cope, the existing method is to apply blanket or spatially undifferentiated approaches including the use of lime. This project aims to devise interventions to rehabilitate soils in East Africa by understanding and communicating the differences in soil acidity and how to cost-effectively correct them. Based on data, recommendations will guide investments into appropriate and targeted approaches from the public and private sector, ensuring a maximum return on investment for farmers, governments and the private sector. In this project, CABI’s focus is on enhancing access to, and use of, data related to acid soil management including soil and agronomy data which would lead to evidence-based decisions for investments.
The coffee sector in Africa provides a vital source of income for many smallholder farmers and accounts for a large proportion of export income for many countries. However, access to finance for production, in-country processing and marketing of coffee is one of the main challenges limiting the transformation of the African coffee sub-sector into a vibrant and resilient industry. CABI is undertaking a study aimed at finding ways to overcome these challenges by determining the best models for financing the micro and small to medium enterprises, and individual smallholder producers of the African coffee value chains.