Senior Soil Fertility Expert

“I am passionate about delivering balanced fertilizer solutions to smallholder farmers in Africa. Those not only result in better returns on fertilizer investments, but greater fertilizer use efficiencies and less nutrient loss to the environment as well.”

John Wendt is the senior soil fertility expert for IFDC’s East and Southern Africa Division (ESAFD). Utilizing over 20 years of agricultural research and development experience, Wendt manages all soil-related activities for ESAFD. He also designs field trials and liaises with the fertilizer industry to produce balanced fertilizers. He designed IFDC’s first international workshop on “Bringing Balanced Fertilizers to Market.”

Prior to joining IFDC in 2011, Wendt was Northern Area projects manager and head agronomist for ACDI/VOCA from 2008 to 2011 in Uganda. He also worked as soil scientist and program and station administrator for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) from 2001 to 2006.

Wendt’s research has demonstrated that secondary and micronutrients can markedly increase yields at low cost to farmers. His efforts are proving true in Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Uganda where farmers using balanced fertilizers have seen an increase in yields of 50 to 100 percent.

Wendt was a postdoctoral fellow for the Rockefeller Foundation in Malawi from 1989 to 1993. He has written numerous papers and been published in several journals. He holds a doctorate in agronomy (soil science) from Purdue University, a master’s degree in agronomy and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M University.

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