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OFRA research at a glance

Fertilizer response field trials have been established across the 13 Optimising Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA) participating countries.

Martin Macharia, the OFRA data manager, has used digital mapping software (QGIS) to show where each of the 216 crop trials is taking place.

Martin explains: ‘Each of the crop trials is at a slightly different stage, but we have built a database to capture the mass of data emerging from each country. When this data is combined with the legacy data (from research that had taken place outside and prior to the OFRA research) we will have robust data that can be utilized to create new tools for improving decisions for making fertilizer recommendations.

The number of field trials happening in each country was decided through negotiation with the participating countries, and a review of the amount fertilizer response data that had already been collected. The trials are designed to contribute to filling in gaps. The more data we have access to the more robust the recommendation will be.’

The search for legacy data resulted in 7,448 datasets from previous research.

East & Southern Africa: Field Trials

East Africa trial sites

East & Southern Africa crops in field trials at a glance: 128 field trials

Ethiopia crops/cropping systems: Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, 36 field trials. Barley (5), chickpea (2), faba bean (2), maize (13), sorghum (3), soybean (4), tef (1), & wheat (6)

Kenya crops/cropping systems: Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Institute, 15 field trials. Beans (4), cassava (1), finger millet (1), groundnuts (1), maize (4), sorghum (1), soybean (1) and wheat (2)

Malawi crops/croppin systems:Department of Agricultural Research Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, 4 field trials. Cowpea (2) and soybean (2)

Mozambique crops/cropping systems: National Agricultural Research Institute, 26 field trials. Cassava (1), maize (11), sorghum (5) and soybean (9)

Rwanda crops/cropping systems: Rwanda Agriculture Board, 15 field trials. Common bean (1), maize (4), rice (8) and wheat (2)

Tanzania crops/cropping systems: Mlingano Agricultural Research Institute, 22 field trials. Cassava (3), common beans (2), cowpea (3), maize (4), maize/common bean (1), maize /cowpea (3 ), maize/pigeonpea (1), pigeonpea (2), sorghum (1), sorghum/pigeonpea (1) and soybean (1)

Uganda crops/cropping systems: National Agricultural Research Laboratories, National Agricultural Research Organization, 4 field trials. Finger millet (4)

Zambia crops/cropping systems: Zambia Agricultural Research Institute, 6 field trials. Common beans (1), groundnuts (1), maize (3) and sorghum (1)


East & Southern Africa: Legacy data on OFRA database

East Africa legacy data

East & Southern Africa: Field trials and legacy data

East Africa legacy trial

West Africa: Field Trials

West Africa trial sites

West Africa crops in field trials at a glance: 88 field trials

Burkina Faso crops/cropping systems:l’institut de l’environnement et de recherches agricoles, 9 field trials. Cowpea (2), groundnut (1) maize (1), millet (1), rice (2) and sorghum (2)

Ghana crops/cropping systems: Soil Research Institute , 16 field trials. Cassava (3), cowpea (5), maize (6) & rice (2)

Mali crops/cropping systems: Institut d’Economie Rurale, 12 field trials. Maize (3), pearl millet (1), rice (3) & sorghum (5)

Niger crops/cropping systems: Institut National de Recherche Agronomique du Niger, 35 field trials. Cowpea (9), groundnut (6), maize (3), pearl millet (10), rice (1) and sorghum (6)

Nigeria crops/cropping systems: Institute for Agricultural Research, 16 field trials. Groundnut (4), maize (3), rice (3), sorghum (3) and soybean (3)


West Africa: Legacy data on OFRA database

West Africa legacy data


West Africa: Field trials and legacy data

West Africa legacy and trial


OFRA is project jointly led by CABI and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The scientific lead is professor Charles Wortmann.