The 4R Nutrients Solution

The 4R Nutrients Solution


Better farming practices is a necessary
step to improve the lives of people around the world. Food security and the
opportunities that come with increased income can be a reality by supporting
the over 1.5 billion smallholder farming families around the world.
Increasing agricultural growth on the 500 million farms globally is considered
one of the best ways to reduce poverty. The nutrients solution is one way to make
this happen. The nutrients solution is an initiative of the Sustainable
Development Solutions Network. It promotes a shared value partnership
involving researchers, governments, not-for-profit organizations and the
private sector. Each contributing their own strength and expertise to create
the best possible result. The nutrients solutions brings together customized
crop nutrient management recommendations and enhanced extension services and
support to retail centers to help small holder farmers achieve higher yields.
Doing this will build local capacity and produce social and economic benefits for
growers, their families and their communities. The nutrients solution model
uses the 4R system, which promotes the use of the right source of nutrient,
applied at the right rate, at the right time, in the right place. The model starts
by focusing on two main priorities. First, developing best management practices
specific to the crops, soil and climate conditions in each region. Second,
strengthening existing extension services to support smallholder farmers
in all aspects of nutrient management and production. The third priority is to
develop a monitoring and evaluation system to monitor progress and ensure
continuous improvement. The result is higher yields, and higher yields mean
more food, better nutrition and higher income for farming families.
Our pilot project in Kenya showed proof that the nutrients solution works.
Beginning in 2012, 45 extension agents and 885 lead farmers trained more than
7,000 smallholder farmers on how to use their crop nutrients more effectively.
The agents provided customized recommendations specific to crop and
location. These farmers all took a risk in trying something new, but they tried
the nutrients solution system, they planted, they waited and it paid off.
Farmers had nearly twice the yield over farmers who didn’t add nutrients and
follow these recommendations. The early results are exciting and promising and
we expect to see more of this as time goes on. Greater yield not only means
having enough to feed their families, it also means being able to sell their
surplus. A higher income for these farmers provides access to other
opportunities such as better health care for their families and education. By
working with stakeholders through shared value partnerships, the nutrients solution
can expand to more regions globally and reach more people each year. The nutrients
solution initially began in sub-saharan Africa, a region where the need is most
pressing, and will be scaled up to include more countries and continue to
help increasing numbers of smallholder farmers become better able to maintain
their crops and support their families. We invite you to be part of the
nutrients solution.

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