Research Professor, Tropical Soils
Departmental Research Areas:
How tropical soils can be managed for increased food production while conserving the environment.
Throughout my professional career, I’ve been working on tropical soils to help reduce world hunger and do it in tune with the environment. Earlier in my career, I worked in tropical Latin America on alternatives to slash and burn agriculture and the development of the Cerrado region of Brazil. Then I worked in Southeast Asia, primarily in Indonesia, also on alternatives to slash and burn agriculture. For 25 years I worked in tropical Africa, where I was stationed at the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) in Nairobi.
Since 2003, I worked at Columbia University in New York on developing a plan to attain the hunger reduction development goals and help conceptualize the African Green Revolution, in which soil fertility depletion is the primary biophysical constraint to increasing production for smallholder fields of Africa. In the Millennium Villages project we used soil science to double or triple food production in 12 countries of Africa, each one representing an agroecological zone in farming systems.
Now in Florida I intend to continue working in tropical Africa on soil fertility issues, including the SoilDoc testing kit, which enables soil testing to be done on the farm without electricity or distilled water. I’m writing the new edition of my tropical soils book, and there are a lot of areas in which I’m interested in having graduate students do research with me. I am also developing a food security and environment program in Cuba, my native country, where soils and water play a very important role.
- Selected Publications
- Sanchez, P.A. 2017. Properties and Management of Soils in the Tropics, Second Edition. Cambridge University Press, New York.
- Sanchez, PA. 2015. Nature Plants 1: 1-2.
- Sanchez, P.A. 2010. Tripling crop yields in tropical Africa. Nature Geoscience 3: 299 – 300.
- Sanchez, P. A., S. Ahamed, F. Carré, A. E. Hartemink, J. Hempel, J. Huising, P. Lagacherie, A. B. McBratney, N. J. McKenzie, M. l. Mendonça-Santos, B. Minasny, L. Montanarella, P. Okoth, C. A. Palm, J. D. Sachs. K. D. Shepherd, T-G. Vågen, B. Vanlauwe, M. G. Walsh, L. A. Winowiecki, G-L Zhang. 2009. Digital soil map of the world. Science 325: 680 – 681.
- Sanchez P.A. 2009. A smarter way to combat hunger. Nature 458: 148.
- Vitousek PM, Naylor R, Crews T, David MB, Drinkwater E, Holland E, Johnes PJ, Katzenberger J, Martinelli LA, Matson PA, Nziguheba G, Ojima D, Palm CA, Robertson GP, Sanchez PA, Townsend AR, Zhang FS. 2009. Nutrient Imbalances in Agricultural Development. Policy forum. Science 324: 1519 – 1520.
- Sanchez, P. A., G. L. Denning, G. Nziguheba. 2009. The African Green Revolution moves forward. Food Security 1: 37 – 44.
- Sanchez, P.A., Swaminathan, M.S. 2005. Cutting world hunger in half. Science 307: 357-359.
- Sanchez, P.A. and Swaminathan M.S. 2005. Hunger in Africa: the link between unhealthy people and unhealthy soils. The Lancet. 365: 442-444.
- Sanchez, P. A. 2002. Soil fertility and hunger in Africa. Science 295: 2019 – 2020.
- Sanchez, P. A., Bandy, D. E., Villachica, J. H., and Nicholaides, J. J. 1982. Amazon basin soils: Management for continuous crop production. Science 216: 821-827.
- Sanchez, P.A. 1976. Properties and Management of Soils in the Tropics. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 618 pp. Spanish version published by IICA, San José, Costa Rica, 632 pp., 1981. Also translated into Bahasa Indonesia. (Rated 7th among the top twenty monographs in Soil Science in 1994).
- Sanchez, P. A. and S. W. Buol. 1975. Soils of the tropics and the world food crisis. Science 188 : 598-603.
Soil and Water Sciences Department
2181 McCarty Hall, PO Box 110290
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611
2169 McCarty Hall
(352) 392-3399 fax