A review of soil fertility management communication in sub-Saharan Africa

Rebecca Nanaa Baah-Ofori, Margaret Amoakohene


In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), declining soil fertility is among the factors affecting optimal food production. Although a number of interventions have been implemented to improve soil fertility management (SFM) in SSA, their adoption especially among small scale farmers has been low. Although the literature provides considerable evidence of socio-economic factors which influence adoption, the subject of how communication influences adoption of SFM remains under-explored. This paper therefore reviewed studies on SFM communication in SSA. The objectives were to identify the current focus of studies on SFM communication, the current definitions of communication which informed such studies, and the type of SFM practices being communicated in the SSA region. Using specific search terms, articles were collected from various databases and content analysed. The review revealed five main themes as the focus of current studies on SFM. The study also revealed two main interpretations of communication which in turn influence the use of either diffusion or participatory communication strategies for SFM communication. The review also showed a focus on integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) messages in the SSA area. The study concludes that while each of the two communication strategies has their individual strengths, farmers prefer participatory strategies. This is because participatory strategies foster interaction and greater understanding; thereby, increasing the likelihood of farmer adoption of SFM practices in SSA. The review concludes by calling for further research on the use of participatory communication to engage farmers about various SFM practices in SSA.


Adoption, Farmers, Interaction, ISFM, Local knowledge, Participation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17170/kobra-202102113200

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