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