IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jfpoli/v86y2019ic12.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Understanding fertilizer adoption and effectiveness on maize in Zambia

Author

Listed:
  • Burke, William J.
  • Frossard, Emmanuel
  • Kabwe, Stephen
  • Jayne, Thom S.

Abstract

Increased fertilizer use will likely be crucial for raising and sustaining farm productivity in Africa, but adoption may be limited by ineffectiveness under certain conditions. This article quantifies the impacts of soil characteristics on maize response to fertilizer in Zambia using a nationally representative sample of 1453 fields, combining economic, farm management and soil analysis data. Depending on soil regimes, average maize yield response estimates range from insignificant (0) to 7 maize kg per fertilizer kg. For the majority of farmers, the estimated average value cost ratio is between 1 and 2, meaning fertilizer use would be fiscally rational, barring uncertainty and transfer costs. Since transfer costs exist and outcomes are uncertain, however, many farmers may sensibly pause before deciding whether to adopt fertilizer. This suggests shifting the emphasis of chronically low fertilizer use in Africa away from explanations of “market failure” toward greater emphasis onimproving fertilizer efficacy.

Suggested Citation

  • Burke, William J. & Frossard, Emmanuel & Kabwe, Stephen & Jayne, Thom S., 2019. "Understanding fertilizer adoption and effectiveness on maize in Zambia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 1-1.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:86:y:2019:i:c:12
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2019.05.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306919218302331
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Balke, Nathan S & Fomby, Thomas B, 1997. "Threshold Cointegration," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(3), pages 627-645, August.
    2. Hansen, Bruce E, 1996. "Inference When a Nuisance Parameter Is Not Identified under the Null Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 413-430, March.
    3. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:75:y:2018:i:c:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Katherine Tully & Clare Sullivan & Ray Weil & Pedro Sanchez, 2015. "The State of Soil Degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Baselines, Trajectories, and Solutions," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(6), pages 1-30, May.
    5. Paswel P. Marenya & Christopher B. Barrett, 2009. "State-conditional Fertilizer Yield Response on Western Kenyan Farms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 991-1006.
    6. Paswel P. Marenya & Christopher B. Barrett, 2009. "Soil quality and fertilizer use rates among smallholder farmers in western Kenya," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(5), pages 561-572, September.
    7. Snapp, Sieg & Jayne, Thomas S. & Mhango, Wezi & Benson, Todd & Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob, 2014. "Maize yield response to nitrogen in Malawi’s smallholder production systems:," MaSSP working papers 9, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Marenya, Paswel Phiri & Barrett, Christopher B., 2009. "The effect of soil quality on fertilizer use rates among smallholder farmers in western Kenya," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51671, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. repec:bla:agecon:v:48:y:2017:i:1:p:115-126 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. T.S. Jayne & Shahidur Rashid, 2013. "Input subsidy programs in sub-Saharan Africa: a synthesis of recent evidence," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(6), pages 547-562, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sub-Saharan Africa; Zambia; Agricultural productivity; Crop response; Fertilizer profitability; Soil quality;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:86:y:2019:i:c:12. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.