Labour inputs and financial profitability of conventional and agroforestry-based soil fertility management practices in Zambia
Several agro-ecological practices have been developed to increase the range of soil fertility management options available to farmers, but little information is available on their labour input requirement and profitability relative to conventional practices. This study used a multiple visit cost-route method to estimate labour inputs and financial profitability of agroforestry-based and conventional (with and without fertiliser) soil fertility management practices in eastern Zambia. Results show that aggregated over a five-year cycle, labour inputs used under agroforestry practices were lower than fertilised maize fields but higher than non-fertilised continuous cropped maize. Agroforestry practices were more profitable (NPV ranging between $233 and $327 ha-1) than unfertilised maize fields (NPV of $130 ha-1) but less profitable than fertilised maize fields. The NPV for the latter is $499 ha-1 under a 50% government subsidy on fertiliser but, it fell to $349 ha-1 when the subsidy effect is removed. In terms of return per unit investment cost, agroforestry practices performed better with a benefit to cost ratio ranging between 2.77 to 3.13 in contrast to 2.65 (subsidised fertiliser) and 1.77 (non-subsidised fertiliser). The returns to labour per person day was $2.56 in (non-subsidised) fertilised maize field, $3.16 in subsidised fertiliser field, $2.63 in Gliricidia fields, $2.41 in Sesbania fields, $1.90 in Tephrosia fields, and $1.10 in non-fertilised maize fields. The results do not support the popular notion that agroforestry practices are more labour intensive. It suggests that in addition to total labour use requirements, the temporal distribution of labour use during the farming season is important. It is concluded that agroforestry practices are profitable, and could contribute to food security.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:55046. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.