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Lookup NU author(s): John Gowing,
Dr Roy Sanderson
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Earthscan Ltd, 2020.
For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Food security is a problem throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa. Sustainable intensification has been promoted as a means to address this challenge and deliver food security without negative environmental consequences. Herein lies another dimension of the challenge, since there is abundant evidence of declining soil fertility as a result of soil nutrient depletion. Soil nutrients are being mined by small-scale farmers who continue to remove large quantities of nutrients from their soils without using sufficient manure or fertilizer inputs to replenish maintain soil fertility. This low-input agriculture will not deliver future food security and a large increase in nutrient inputs is seen as a requirement for sustainable intensification. We present here a case study from Marsabit County; the largest, most arid, and least developed region in Kenya. Evidence was gathered from field studies at four locations during 2016 and 2017 combined with a farmer survey. We show that a typical smallholder farm can achieve an acceptable nitrogen balance through better use of available livestock manure. An acceptable balance can also be achieved for phosphorus, however, there is a deficit for potassium. This case study demonstrates that an integrated crop-livestock farming system offers a potential solution to soil nutrient mining and can provide a pathway to sustainable intensification for small-scale farmers in a challenging semi-arid environment.
Author(s): Gowing JW, Golicha DD, Sanderson RA
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
Online publication date: 23/07/2020
Acceptance date: 07/07/2020
Date deposited: 09/07/2020
ISSN (print): 1473-5903
ISSN (electronic): 1747-762X
Publisher: Earthscan Ltd
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