Legumes make their own fertilizer—with help from their friends

| December 12, 2016

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Two of this week’s stories talk about growing beans. Beans are leguminous plants, and our Script of the week is a light-hearted drama about how legumes help soil fertility.

Plants, like people and animals, need food. Plant nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are needed for the growth and development of crops and trees. But African farmers are facing a major problem as soil fertility declines. Small-scale farmers have few affordable options that are compatible with both the physical and chemical state of their soils.

This week’s script answers the questions: Wouldn’t it be a good thing if your crops could talk directly to you and tell you exactly what they need? And what if your soil could talk too? What do you think it would say?

You might want to supplement this script by adding an interview or a discussion with a local farmer or agricultural extension worker who is familiar with the benefits of rhizobial bacteria and biofertilizers.