At the individual farm level, it is important to consider the variability between the soil fertility status of individual fields (see Figure), which arises due to farmers preferring to apply limited fertilisers and organic nutrient resources to small areas of the farms. Any definition of ISFM must consider these attributes.

What is Integrated Soil Fertility Management?

We define ISFM as ‘A set of soil fertility management practices that necessarily include the use of fertiliser, organic inputs, and improved germplasm combined with the knowledge on how to adapt these practices to local conditions, aiming at maximising agronomic use efficiency of the applied nutrients and improving crop productivity. All inputs need to be managed following sound agronomic principles.’ A conceptual presentation of the definition is shown in Figure 2. The definition includes a number of concepts that are described below.