To reverse the declining trends in soil fertility levels in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the use of fertilizers and other land augmenting technologies needs to increase. While overall fertilizer consumption in SSA has increased by as much as 200% from 1970 levels, the growth has been highly variable across countries, regions and time. Fertilizer use is significantly lower than that observed in other parts of the developing world, especially Asia, where fertilizer (along with other productivity enhancing technologies) has been credited with the large increases in yields. Moreover data for the 1990s suggests that overall fertilizer consumption in SSA has been declining. Designing appropriate policies and interventions to stimulate fertilizer demand and supply, calls for a good understanding of past trends and factors that have been associated with changes in use. The objective of this paper is to seek a better understanding of the dynamics of fertilizer use.