James Njeru Mugo is a PhD student working at the International Potato Center, Nairobi Branch, Kenya. His work is part of the International Agricultural Research Development Program “Improved Soil Fertility Management for Sustainable Intensification in Potato Based Systems in Ethiopia and Kenya”.
Special fertilizer blends for highland regions
James Njeru Mugo works on the development of fertilizer blends for potato farmers in Kenya, which is of great concern as potatoes are important food and smallholder cash crops in sub-Saharan African highland regions. To protect limited resources and to optimize the use efficiency of cultivated lands, it is – amongst others – one starting-point to increase productivity by improving soil fertility management. As many soils are very poor in their fertility and nutrient stocks, this is seen as highly promising to improve productivity of these important agricultural regions.
Methods for identifiing nutrient deficiency
During his stay at the IAPN from 20 October 2015 until 17 December 2015 he conducted chemical analyses on soil samples, as well as analyses of the nutritional status of potato leafs, in order to learn more about plant nutrition, fertilizer blend formation and on soil and plant analysis methods. Using these methods, he can identify the limiting nutrients on the farmers’ fields and develop more need-oriented fertilizer blends.