Balanced crop fertilisation is a crucial aspect of agricultural productivity, and it can be especially important in Africa, where many farmers struggle with low soil fertility and limited access to fertilisers.

Here are some key points to consider when implementing a balanced crop fertilisation:

Soil testing

The first step in balanced fertilisation is to test the soil to determine its nutrient content and pH level.

Nutrient management

Based on soil test results, a grower can create a nutrient management plan that specifies the types and amounts of fertilisers to apply to each crop. This plan should take into account the specific needs of each crop and the timing of fertiliser application.

Fertiliser types

Farmers should prioritise the use of fertilisers that are rich in the specific nutrients that their crops require, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Usually, in Zambia, farmers use urea as a source of nitrogen and compound NPK, as a source of phosphorus, but neglect the potassium. Potassium chloride, or muriate of potash (known also as MOP), is the most concentrated source of potassium.

Organic matter

In addition to chemical fertilisers, organic matter is also a valuable source of nutrients for crops and a powerful soil conditioner, that positively affects soil biological activity, soil structure, and water retention properties.

Organic matter can be incorporated into the soil using cover crops, crop residues, and animal manure.

Timing and placement

The timing and placement of fertilisers also have a significant impact on crop yields. Applying fertilisers at the right time can ensure that crops have access to the nutrients they need at critical growth stages. Additionally, placing fertilisers in close proximity to the crop roots can increase the efficiency of nutrient uptake.

Overall, balanced crop fertilisation requires careful planning and management. However, when done properly, it can help to improve soil fertility, increase crop yields, and ultimately enhance food security for millions of people across the continent.

We at United Fertilizers Company Limited invite everyone to our crop trial at the upcoming AgriTech Expo Zambia, which will take place 20 to 22 April, to observe balanced fertilisation and good agronomical practices in action.

For more information, visit the United Fertilizers website at