Taking Maize Agronomy to Scale in Africa (TAMASA)


29 Apr 2016

2015 Annual Interpretive Summary

Taking Maize Agronomy to Scale in Africa (TAMASA) is a 4-year project with a focus to use geospatial soil and agronomic data to generate decision tools for use by extension service providers to help smallholder farmers to increase crop productivity in maize-based farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa. The project is implemented in partnership with the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and initially covers three countries; Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania. Current maize yields are very low in the region (<2 t/ha) and the project is cooperating with government research and extension systems, development agencies and private sector partners to support smallholder farmers to intensify maize production in a profitable manner.

IPNI is leading the process to develop and promote site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) recommendations using the Nutrient Expert® for Maize (NE) decisions support tool. Nutrient Expert uses the principles of site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) to develop strategies to manage fertilizer N, P and K, taking into account nutrients from both indigenous resources and mineral fertilizers. IPNI is also leading efforts to develop a regional nutrient recommendation spatial framework and related suitable extension products to enable service providers to provide farmers with fertilizer recommendations tailored to specific fields or growing environments.

In 2015, multi-location nutrient omission trials were established in all three countries to generate agronomic and soil datasets and collect information to calibrate NE for new geographies in each of the three countries supported by the project. About 90 trials were established in Ethiopia, 128 in Nigeria and 200 in Tanzania. IPNI has also been actively involved in engaging both public and private extension service providers (i.e. input suppliers, government and private research and extension services, agro-dealers, and others) in each country to develop business models for use of NE to provide SSNM recommendations at scale.