Can Africa afford to save its soils?

On the fertilizer-starved continent of Africa, the discourses about soil fertility revolve around the availability of inorganic fertilizers, and how policy – subsidies, tariffs, markets – can be made to support their use.

Supporters say that poor farmers are not able to make investments in restoring degraded soils because it takes too long to see yield increases or benefit from soil improvement measures. Poor farmers simply can’t wait that long to see results – they say.