Commercial Products Project

Published on 22 May 2011

Research Areas



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Start Date: 1 December 2008 | End Date: 30 November 2011


The Commercial Products project (COMPRO) seeks to evaluate and scale up new chemical and biological commercial products for improving and sustaining crop yields in selected agro-ecological zones in sub-Saharan Africa.

Research Themes

Baseline information and site selection
To select sites, collect baseline information, characterize new products, and evaluate data obtained from trials conducted by the private companies.

Screening of new products and technological options
To screen a large number of new products on some key crops such as maize, soybean, cowpea and banana under greenhouse conditions, followed by a field evaluation of effective products and an investigation of their capacity to increase crop yield across target agro-ecozones, land intensification and soil fertility gradients, including fields that are responsive to fertilizer and those are not, as a basis for integrating these into Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) technologies.

Understanding mechanisms and contributions
To unravel mechanisms underlying adaptation and contributions of the two selected products and their combinations to crop performance and yield persistence in various target cropping systems across the target agro-ecozones, land intensification and soil fertility gradients.

Making effective products available at scale
To foster dissemination of effective new agricultural products beyond the experimental sites through a cycle of demonstration and farmer-managed adaptation trials in the target areas. This objective will initiate activities that could potentially be further developed in a Phase II proposal that Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)  may fund at 1.5 – 2 years into the program for expanding commercial scale up, formulations, field development or field dissemination of technologies in different countries. This preliminary activity should be done in accordance with community extension programs associated with development.

Project management, capacity building, and monitoring and evaluation
To operationalize a continuous monitoring and evaluation framework as a basis for ensuring that the desired outputs are produced, and explore and develop pathways for commercialization of effective products. Several students (Master and PhD) will be trained in the field of biological materials, soil inoculants and soil microbiology. Currently, national research capacity is limited but crucial to achieve success. Gender issues will be taken into consideration in the selection of the students for both Master and PhD. This will be done closely in relation with the Project funded by BMGF and coordinated by the Gender & Diversity programme of CGIAR.

Research Partners



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