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African Soils: challenges and opportunities
Convener: Saskia Keesstra  | Co-Conveners: Jan Nyssen , Nikolaus J. Kuhn 
 / Thu, 01 May, 15:30–17:15
 / Attendance Thu, 01 May, 17:30–19:00

Soils in Africa can be seen from two viewpoints: from a physical point and a socio-economic point. When looking from a physical point of view African soils are in general poor in nutrients and prone to erosion. Therefore, land degradation and environmental change threaten the African soil resource much more severely than in many other regions of the planet. This illustrates the need for soil and water conservation. This in turn influences the possibilities of the African farmers, which for a large part consist of poor small-scale farmers. To increase the agricultural production on these soils sustainable agriculture in combination with better water and nutrient management is essential. Here the socio-economic situation of the African continent makes that the majority of people and countries rely heavily on agricultural production for their livelihood. However, processes such as land grabbing by large companies from the developed world and growing economies create a new situation in many countries that needs assessment and management.
This session aims at giving an overview of the current research and state of knowledge on soils in Africa, identifying the risks to the environmental services they provide to Africa and the world, as well as examples of sustainable land use and the research needs to restore, develop and maintain these services. Contributions from all areas of soil science, agronomy, ecology, hydrology and geography are invited to contribute to this session.
We especially would like to encourage scientists from the African continent to contribute to this session. The EGU has travel bursaries available to support some applicants (requires an early abstract submission) for whom we can also try to get funding for travel and registration costs.