The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) and the University Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier (UT3) have signed a memorandum of understanding paving the way for improved management and efficient use of nitrogen in Africa.
Through the project INSA – Integrated Nitrogen Studies in Africa, both institutions would seek to unpack and analyze nitrogen transfers within the different compartments (air, soil, water) in Africa’s ecosystems.
Nitrogen is one of the essential nutrients for plant growth and food production in Africa and globally.
“The project will drive the development of a holistic nitrogen assessment in Africa for improved nitrogen management and nitrogen use efficiency“, says Dr. Abdulai Jalloh, Director of Research and Innovation at CORAF.
“We expect through this project to contribute to improving farm productivity, enhancing soil health, conserving resources, and reducing pollution by decreasing losses of reactive nitrogen to the environment,” says Pr Dominique Serça, part of the INSA project coordination team at UT3
The INSA project brings together experts from various environmental and social sciences fields through a network of scientists from 13 academic and two non-academic institutions in 5 European and 7 African countries.
The MoU sets out a framework of cooperation between the two institutions to explore their complementary research, institutional development, and capacity building skills to further their respective missions on the theme of nitrogen and its management and use.
CORAF’s projects and INSA address some common issues in the sub-region, such as climate change, food security, and declining soil fertility, livestock management (use of manure to combat soil infertility), improving quality agri-inputs (N efficiency use in fertilizers).
CORAF will also participate in the project as an external advisory stakeholder, bringing in expertise and technical advice on the INSA’s activities and objectives along the project’s course and exploring opportunities for developing other projects.
The INSA project will share scientific findings with the stakeholders on nitrogen flows and production processes, emission, deposition, and impacts on climate, soil, air, water quality, and biodiversity through nitrogen use efficiency.
CORAF is Africa’s largest sub-regional organization consisting of the national agricultural research systems of 23 countries in West and Central Africa. It is mandated to coordinate agricultural research in both regions. Its primary mission is to boost people’s prosperity and enhance food and nutrition security.
As one of France’s most important scientific research clusters, UT3 is a key partner in numerous research and training projects at local, national, and international levels. UT3 coordinates the INSA project. Funded by the European Union’s H2020 MSCA-RISE framework, the project is scientifically coordinated by the Laboratory of Aerology under UT3.