How understanding microbes can help farmers manage Africa’s soil crisis

To harness the potential of soil microbes Africa must move quickly. As soil degrades, so too does microbial life.

Understanding the microbial diversity of Africa’s soils is important for another reason as well. At least some portion of this diversity is indigenous to particular soils, crops and ecosystems developed over thousands of years of farming.

At a time when multinational corporations are investing to identify, develop and patent soil microbial uses and inventions, Africa needs to understand the value of microbes.

The commercial value of its diversity should be realised.

At the same time, many of the agronomic products developed are based on soil microbes. This will benefit farmers elsewhere who face similar challenges, whether arid soils or crop diseases.

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