Making nitrogen fertiliser the natural way
Nitrogen is an important element in creating protein, the building block for our bodies. Plants also depend on nitrogen in order to grow well. However in Africa, nitrogen concentration in farmland soils is often low and few farmers can afford to buy chemical fertiliser to address the problem. Legume plants, such as beans, soya and groundnuts, have a natural capacity to extract nitrogen from the air and convert it into a solid form that they and other plants can benefit from. So planting a legume as part of a farm’s crop rotation boosts soil fertility and reduces the need to use chemical fertiliser. Gloria Kasongo of the N2Africa project, which aims to increase planting of legumes in African farms, explains more to Excello Zidana.
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