Factors Influencing the Profitability of Fertilizer Use on Maize in Zambia
AbstractFertilizer use remains very low in most of Africa despite widespread agreement that much higher use rates are required for sustained agricultural productivity growth. This study estimates maize yield response functions in agro-ecological Zone IIA, a relatively high potential zone of Zambia, to determine the profitability of fertilizer use under a range of small farm conditions found within this zone. The theoretical framework used in this study incorporates agronomic principles of the crop growth process. The model distinguishes different roles of inputs and non-input factors in crop production. We estimate the effects of conventional production inputs as well as household characteristics and government programs on maize yield for households in the dominant acrisols soil type. Results indicate that even within this particular soil type within Zone IIA, the maize-fertilizer response rate in the two specific years varied widely across households. The main factors explaining the variability in maize-fertilizer response rates were the rate of application, the timeliness of fertilizer availability, the use of animal draught power during land preparation, and whether the household incurred the death of an adult member in the past three years. These modifying factors, as well as variations in input and output prices due to proximity to roads and markets, substantially affected the profitability of fertilizer use on maize. Fertilizer use on maize tended to be unprofitable at full commercial fertilizer prices for farmers who received fertilizer late and who were located in relatively remote areas.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Food Security Collaborative Working Papers with number 54500.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
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Postal: Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, 446 West Circle Dr., Rm 202, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
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Web page: http://www.aec.msu.edu/agecon/
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zambia; maize; fertilizer; profitability; Crop Production/Industries; Q12;
Other versions of this item:
- Zhiying Xu & Zhengfei Guan & T.S. Jayne & Roy Black, 2009. "Factors influencing the profitability of fertilizer use on maize in Zambia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(4), pages 437-446, 07.
- Xu, Z. & Guan, Zhengfei & Jayne, Thomas S. & Black, J. Roy, 2009. "Factors Influencing the Profitability of Fertilizer Use on Maize in Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 54639, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
- Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
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- Sheahan, Megan & Black, Roy & Jayne, Thomas S., 2012. "What is the Scope for Increased Fertilizer Use in Kenya?," Food Security International Development Working Papers 135283, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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- Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob & Jayne, Thomas S., 2010. "What are the Dynamic Effects of Fertilizer Subsidies on Household Well‐being? Evidence from Malawi," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 96650, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) & Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
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