Low-cost boost for crops in poor soils. Validated RNRRS Output.


This is one of 280 summaries describing key outputs from the projects run by DFID's 10-year Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (RNRRS) programmes.

Principally based on Projects R7438, R8221 and R8269. A simple, low-cost way to boost crop yields in poor soils is now available. Farmers who till infertile land are often the poorest and can't afford fertilisers. Now, they can reap better harvests just by adding tiny amounts of nutrients to the water that they soak seeds in before sowing. Farmers in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan added small amounts molybdenum, zinc, boron, phosphate and Rhizobia—the bacteria that help fix nitrogen—to priming water. In some cases, yields of chickpea, mungbean, maize and wheat improved by up to two-thirds. The simple 'nutrient priming' technology has almost unlimited potential. So many soils in less-developed countries are poor. Plus, the method can be used for many of the major tropical and sub-tropical crops.

The CD has the following information for this output: Description, Validation, Current Situation, Current Promotion, Impacts On Poverty, Environmental Impact. Attached PDF (14 pp.) taken from the CD.


PSP30, New technologies, new processes, new policies: tried-and-tested and ready-to-use results from DFID-funded research, Research Into Use Programme, Aylesford, Kent, UK, ISBN 978-0-9552595-6-2, p 43.

Published 1 January 2007