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Case Study: Environment

Scaling Up Fertilizer Deep Placement and Microdosing Technologies

Farming First Farming First


Scaling Up Fertilizer Deep Placement and Microdosing Technologies


The USAID funded project “Scaling Up Fertilizer Deep Placement and Microdosing Technologies in Mali” promotes and disseminates innovative, climate-smart fertilizer-based technologies for targeted crops, including rice, millet and sorghum within the country.

The project introduces fertilizer deep placement (FDP) to Malian farmers, which involves placing a fertilizer briquette near the roots of the plant. This precise method of application reduces agriculture’s contribution to climate change by mitigating greenhouse gas emissions associated with fertilizer use, and increases productivity. Generally, FDP reduces fertilizer use by 33%, increases rice yields by 15% and incomes (for rice in Mali) by $573 per hectare, and reduces NO and N2O emissions.

The project also promotes microdosing, the application of very small amounts of fertilizer directly to plant roots. The method increases fertilizer efficiency and productivity of millet and sorghum crops.

Nearly 50,000 farmers involved with FDP-MD experienced an average yield increase of 2.67 metric tons per hectare in rice, as well as an increased production of crops valued at over $5 million in 2015.

One farmer in particular, Rokiatou Diallo, sees UDP (using a fertilizer briquette made from urea) as a way to bring food security to Mali. “The results [from UDP] were easy to see. On our demonstration plots, we saw a 20% increase in yield. And the miracle: we used 55% less fertilizer than before. The grains were also larger and of better quality.”

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Case study prepared by:

IFDC - Developing Agriculture from the Group Up

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