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Soil Fertility Management Choice in the Maize-Based Smallholder Farming System in Malawi

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  • Wobst, Peter
  • Tchale, Hardwick
  • Frohberg, Klaus
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    Abstract

    The paper analyses the factors that affect smallholder farmers’ choice of soil fertility management options in Malawi using a two-stage maximum likelihood estimation procedure. Using results from the Double-Hurdle model, the paper estimates the probabilities and intensities of fertilizer application conditional on choice of inorganic fertilizer. The findings indicate that relative wealthy indicators, human capital, credit and market access, food security index and land pressure are the main factors that greatly influence farmers’ choice and intensity of input investment. Although there is a high and positive correlation between probability of adoption and intensity of application, factors that influence adoption are not necessarily the same as those that influence the intensity of application, conditional on adoption. The paper concludes with policy and research implications aimed at informing the debate on enhancing sustainable soil fertility management among smallholder farmers in Malawi.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) in its series 2004 Inaugural Symposium, December 6-8, 2004, Nairobi, Kenya with number 9524.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaaeke:9524

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    Related research

    Keywords: soil fertility management; smallholder farmers; Double-Hurdle model; Malawi; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

    References

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    1. Kherallah, Mylene & Govindan, Kumaresan, 1999. "The Sequencing of Agricultural Market Reforms in Malawi," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(2), pages 125-51, July.
    2. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-44, September.
    3. Kebede, Yohannes & Gunjal, Kisan & Coffin, Garth, 1990. "Adoption of new technologies in Ethiopian agriculture: The case of Tegulet-Bulga district Shoa province," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 27-43, April.
    4. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-98, January.
    5. Minot, Nicholas & Kherallah, Mylène & Berry, Philippe, 2000. "Fertilizer market reform and the determinants of fertilizer use in Benin and Malawi," MSSD discussion papers 40, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. de Janvry, Alain & Fafchamps, Marcel & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1991. "Peasant Household Behaviour with Missing Markets: Some Paradoxes Explained," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1400-417, November.
    7. Clay, Daniel & Reardon, Thomas & Kangasniemi, Jaakko, 1998. "Sustainable Intensification in the Highland Tropics: Rwandan Farmers' Investments in Land Conservation and Soil Fertility," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 351-77, January.
    8. Lin, Tsai-Fen & Schmidt, Peter, 1984. "A Test of the Tobit Specification against an Alternative Suggested by Cragg," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 174-77, February.
    9. Adesina, Akinwumi A. & Zinnah, Moses M., 1993. "Technology characteristics, farmers' perceptions and adoption decisions: A Tobit model application in Sierra Leone," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 297-311, December.
    10. Ani L. Katchova & Mario J. Miranda, 2004. "Two-Step Econometric Estimation of Farm Characteristics Affecting Marketing Contract Decisions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(1), pages 88-102.
    11. Reardon, Thomas & Kelly, Valerie A. & Yanggen, David & Crawford, Eric W., 1999. "Determinants Of Fertilizer Adoption By African Farmers: Policy Analysis Framework, Illustrative Evidence, And Implications," Staff Papers 11779, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    12. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
    13. Thangata, P. H. & Alavalapati, J. R. R., 2003. "Agroforestry adoption in southern Malawi: the case of mixed intercropping of Gliricidia sepium and maize," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 57-71, October.
    14. Adesina, Akinwumi A. & Zinnah, Moses M., 1993. "Technology characteristics, farmers' perceptions and adoption decisions: A Tobit model application in Sierra Leone," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 9(4), December.
    15. Adesina, Akinwumi A. & Baidu-Forson, Jojo, 1995. "Farmers' perceptions and adoption of new agricultural technology: evidence from analysis in Burkina Faso and Guinea, West Africa," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 1-9, October.
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