Tanzania NAFAKA Supports Development and Roll Out of More Effective Fertilizer
Urea Deep Placement System Boosts Rice Yields
The USAID Feed the Future Tanzanian Staples Value Chain (NAFAKA) project has supported research by the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) and two Tanzanian agricultural research institutions to develop the Urea Deep Placement (UDP) fertilizer system. The Tanzania Fertilizer Regulatory Authority has recently approved this system, which reduces costs and boosts yields, for commercial use. This is great news as Tanzania, the second largest rice producer in Africa, hustles to meet the increasing demand for rice on the continent.
The ACDI/VOCA-implemented NAFAKA project, which strives to improve farmer productivity and profitability in the maize and rice value chains, hosted the forum at which the official approval to produce, sell, and use UDP was announced. Unlike the conventional practice of broadcasting urea fertilizer, the UDP system takes the form of urea briquettes, compressed granules of urea, that rice farmers place directly into the soil. There, the fertilizer slowly releases nitrogen to increase rice yields by approximately 1,500 kilograms per hectare as compared to broadcast urea.
NAFAKA will continue to support the UDP system. Tom Carr, NAFAKA’s Chief of Party, says that “Training of farmers on UDP will ensure that farmers are not only aware of the benefits but also know how to apply the briquettes properly.”