Phosphate Fertilizer Sources and Use in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

Kisinyo Peter Oloo *

School of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Rongo University College, P.O.Box 103-40404, Rongo, Kenya

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Most African soils are low in phosphorus (P) and farmers are increasingly using more P fertilizers to improve crop production. Phosphate rocks (PR) deposits which are the major source of P are unfortunately finite. This is likely to cause world food crisis, especially in Africa due to its high human population growth rate. Conflicting information on the quantity of existing PR reserves has made it difficult to accurately predict how long they would last so as to plan for its judicious use. World PR deposits are currently estimated at 290 billion tonnes and potentially 490 billion tonnes. These reserves at the current production rate of 160 - 170 million tonnes per year are likely to be depleted between the years 2311 and 2411 and Africa will be most affected due to high human population grow rate. With the eminent threat of PR deposits depletion, Africa therefore needs to adopt farming practices that will reduce the use of P fertilizers without negatively affecting its crop productivity. Practices such as soil erosion control, use of P efficient crop germplasms, P solubilizing organisms and organic materials are perceived to reduce soil P loss and increase its use efficiency by plants.

Keywords: Soil fertility, phosphorus, phosphate rocks, depletionq, reserves

How to Cite

Peter Oloo, K. (2016). Phosphate Fertilizer Sources and Use in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities. Advances in Research, 7(4), 1–9.