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Decreasing soil fertility of agricultural lands in sub-Saharan Africa is recognized to be one of the major factors considerably limiting crop productivity. According to International Fertilizer Association (IFA) annual removal of primary crop nutrients from cultivated soils with harvested produce, bad management of crop residues and inappropriate fertilization practices in 37 African countries is estimated to be in total 4.4 mln t, 0.5 mln t and 3 mln t for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) correspondingly. These rates are just partially compensated by applied inorganic fertilizers, thus resulting in overall negative nutrient balance particularly for N and K: -2.0 mln t for N, -0.1 mln t for P and -2.5 mln t for K. Soil fertility depletion due to nutrient mining is reflected in crop growth suppression and disorders, poor yields’ quantity and quality. Further, it contributes to poverty, malnutrition and raises concerns about food security.

This interactive map was created using state-of-the-art data to demonstrate fertilizer application rates required to achieve potential crop production for a given location. We encourage to use output location-specific variables as a first approximation, as they are estimates that are based on results of crop growth simulations, empirical crop nutrient uptake data, regional climate and nutrient status of soils. If you are interested in agronomic advice for your field, feel free to contact us via


Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas. Available URL:

Hengl, T., Leenaars, J.G.B., Shepherd, K.D., Walsh, M.G, Heuvelink, G.B.M., Mamo, T. et al. (2017) Soil nutrient maps of Sub-Saharan Africa: assessment of soil nutrient content at 250 m spatial resolution using machine learning. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 109: 77-102. DOI: 10.1007/s10705-017-9870-x.

International Food Policy Research Institute, 2019, "Global Spatially-Disaggregated Crop Production Statistics Data for 2010 Version 2.0",, Harvard Dataverse, V4.

IPNI Estimates of Nutrient Uptake and Removal. Available URL:

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