Nutrients are essential in crop production. Despite NPK fertilizers being applied, crop yields remain low in most African countries, including Zambia, due to limited availability of other essential nutrients, such as sulphur, zinc and boron. This projects aims to improve understanding of crop yield response to the addition of multi-nutrients in both the short- and long- term. This will be achieved by conducting multi-nutrient omission experiments for maize and sorghum/millet in two years. The nutrients in the experiments include N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Cu, Zn and B. From the experiments, nutrient budgets and nutrient use efficiencies will be determined and nutrient interactions will be analyzed. The extended VSD+ model will be applied to provide insights into long term effects of the experimental multi-nutrient additions on nutrient availability and interactions. Furthermore, the long term impacts of multi-nutrient additions on crop yield will be predicted, while accounting for the potential impacts of climate change in Zambia, This effect will be studied by using data from Global climate models in CIMP5 for two climate scenarios. The data from climate modelling will be used as input for water and multi-nutrient simulations on crop production by coupling VSD+ to the model WOFOST.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.