FGI approach

Fertile Grounds Initiative approach

However literature shows that the adoption of ISFM is still lacking, hampered by a series of reasons.

The Fertile Grounds Initiative (FGI) is an coordinated strategy of collaboration between actors in nutrient management at various spatial scales. It is based on eight components, which bring together the supply and demand of nutrients within a specific geographical area to make optimum use of site-specific interventions and available nutrients, supplemented with external imports. We expect the FGI to make a significant practical contribution to sustainable development in areas with limited soil fertility and nutrient availability, while at the same time resolving problems arising from nutrient excess in certain parts of the country and from (urban) waste streams, turning these into economic assets.

FGI comprises 8 components aiming at a better nutrient management with the intent to increase soil fertility and thus to enhance food and economic security (see belove). This approach needs to be adapted to local conditions and single components will be executed simultaneously.


The first two components including the inventory of nutrient requirements (demand of farmers) and the inventory of nutrient availability (supply at different scales) form what can be called  the nutrient gap analysis. Together with the verification of the capacity of institutional willingness these aspects are fundamental to close the nutrient cycle more efficiently. This requires the concerted alignment of a variety of actors and stakeholders at various levels of scale. While component III focuses on producing integrated fertilizer products (Product formulation and processing), component IV is bringing together supply and demand of nutrients and developing arrangements for trade (brokering). Component V deals with optimization of nutrient trade and transport to ensure a well-organized nutrient supply (Trade logistics). In addition to component VI, i.e. capacity building, component VII (Institutionalization) promotes institutional arrangements regarding cooperatives, nutrient banks, legal and institutional embedding. FGI also recognizes the importance of an enabling environment (component VIII) that should mobilise support for market access, micro-credits, insurances, etc. for smallholder and other farmers. As a concept FGI also aims to facilitate upscaling of results obtained and provide support to policy making. 

                  The eight components of the Fertile Grounds Initiative.