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IFDC Training Course on Decision Support Tools for Agricultural Production, Fertilizer Recommendations and Climatic Variability

March 1, 2013

The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) announces an international two-week training course on Decision Support Tools for Agricultural Production, Fertilizer Recommendations and Climatic Variability, to run from 2nd to 13th July 2012.

The course  will enable those engaged in agricultural research and extension services to improve their ability to use geographic information systems (GIS) and modelling tools to collect, analyse and employ soil, weather and market information in systems to generate site- and crop-specific nutrient and crop management recommendations. It will improve participants’ skills in the collection and integration of field data with decision support tools and in the methods of disseminating and applying results that lead to better yields and higher profits. The course is designed for agronomists, soil scientists, meteorologists and economists from national and international agricultural research institutes and universities; nutrient management specialists, resource management specialists and agricultural extension agents in Africa; as well as policy-makers from African governments and their Ministries in charge of agricultural productivity and planning.

Course Content

The course will cover all facets of fertiliser recommendation systems, including risks associated with climatic and market fluctuations. Topics to be addressed by a faculty of experts include:

  • General introduction to fertilizer requirements, ISFM and DSTs.
  • Using existing soil, climate, crop and socioeconomic data and crop simulation models for ex-ante analysis of yields and market accessibility for strategic site selection.
  • Identifying yield gaps and plant nutrient demand for target yields.
  • Determination of optimal nutrient rates within the context of ISFM.
  • Designing field trials and data collection exercises.
  • Maintaining and updating nutrient recommendations.
  • Employing DSTs, specifically Decision Support Systems for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) and the Phosphate Rock Decision Support System (PRDSS) for rapid analyses and recommendations.
  • Application of GIS and the Climate Information Analysis geo-spatial tool for regional and site-specific recommendations.


The course will take place at the Naura Springs Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania. The hotel is offering participants a concessionary rate of US $55.00 per room/per night for reservations made no later than June 1, 2012, for standard single rooms and inclusive of breakfast and all taxes.

Course Costs and Registration

Participants can register online. The course fee is US $1,300 per participant, if paid no later than 2nd June, 2012. A non-refundable deposit of US $200 is required with each registration. Registrations after 2nd June, 2012 will cost US $1,500. The fee covers training and reference materials, coffee/tea breaks, all lunches and surface transportation on field trips. The fee does not include air travel, lodging and dinner expenses, or medical and communication expenses. IFDC does not finance or sponsor any participant.

Queries & Information

Additional information is available at the course website and from:

Director, Training and Workshop Coordination Unit
International Fertilizer Development Center
P.O. Box 2040
Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35662, U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 (256) 381-6600 Telefax: +1 (256) 381-7408

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