Climate-smart nutrient management to narrow maize yield gaps in Kenya and Tanzania


Ensuring food security in sub-Saharan Africa in a sustainable manner is one of the main future challenges. The Crop Nutrient Gaps project ( explores ways to substantially improve maize productivity in SSA (Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania) without corresponding increases in emission intensities of GHGs and nutrients to the environment. As smart nutrient management is key, we formulate promising options for managing nutrient gaps, based on the 4Rs nutrient stewardship’ approach in fertilization (Right type, Right amount, Right placing and Right timing of fertilizers) taking location specific conditions into account. 

The project builds upon results of the Global Yield Gap Atlas ( and translates yield gaps into nutrient gaps and nutrient management packages. Some of the proposed packages are tested on-farm in West Kenya and Southwest Tanzania, together with a social enterprise and fertilizer company (Yara). Between December 2017 and June 2018 an internship or MSc thesis subject is available in Tanzania in a set of on-farm maize trials and between March and September 2018 one or two positions are available for such trials in West Kenya. You will assess different nutrient management variants in an on-farm setting and calculate various parameters than can also be used in modelling studies on trade-off in soil fertility management (trade-off between production, GHG emissions and profit). Depending on your preferences, the internship or MSc thesis can be experimental or a combination of experimentation and modelling.


Agrics in Kenya; SUA and Yara in Tanzania.


Preferably a plant sciences (crops, farm and nutrient management) background with interest in experimentation and/or statistical analysis and modelling.  


West Kenya or SW Tanzania, possibly combined with Wageningen


December 2017 – September 2018


Martin van Ittersum                            0317-482382                 

Tom Schut                                          0317-482454                 

Hein ten Berge