The goal of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) is to optimize crop productivity through maximizing interactions that occur when fertilizers, organic inputs and improved germplasm along with the required associated knowledge are integrated by farmers. Successful implementation of ISFM into cropping systems however, requires a comprehensive understanding of the ISFM concept by relevant stakeholders in the agricultural value chain. A baseline survey was conducted in Ghana using structured questionnaire to provide quantitative justification about the status of ISFM activities in the country.
Results show that about 92% of the respondents have knowledge in ISFM as they indicated it involves the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers with local adaptation as well us germplasm. About 81 % of the respondents have access to ISFM information with journal papers and text book as the main sources of ISFM information. Although respondents indicated that ISFM database could be very useful (60%) to useful (40%), most institutions do not have database for storing of ISFM information (about 51%) and training in ISFM database is limited. Among the reasons for the absence of ISFM database in most institutions are lack of infrastructure, limited capacity to develop ISFM database, no data to store and no initiative to store ISFM information.
Respondents are looking forward to ISFM database that is easy to use, simplified and accessible, linking physical and economic data as well as a one stop-shop for soil quality and plant data. In respect to data analyses and interpretation, most respondents (71%) are able to conduct statistical analyses and interpretation of data but have limitation in capacity to conduct spatial analyses of Geographical Position System (GPS) coded data. The baseline survey has provided bases for planning and implementation of activities within the Ghana Soil Health Consortium