- Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Maertens, Miet; Oyinbo, Oyakhilomen; Abdoulaye, Tahirou; Chamberlin, Jordan
There is growing evidence on the impacts of site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) from Asia. The evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where SSNM developments are more recent and where conditions concerning soil fertility and fertilizer use differ importantly from those in Asia, is extremely scarce. We evaluate a SSNM advisory tool that allows extension agents to generate fertilizer recommendations tailored to the specific situation of an individual farmer's field, using a three-year randomized controlled trial with 792 smallholder farmers in the maize belt of northern Nigeria. Two treatment arms were implemented: T1 and T2 both provide SSNM information on nutrient use and management, but T2 provides additional information on maize price distributions and the associated variability of expected returns to fertilizer use. We estimate average and heterogenous intentto-treat effects on agronomic, economic and environmental plot-level outcomes. We find that T1 and T2 lead to substantial increases (up to 116%) in the adoption of good fertilizer management practices and T2 leads to incremental increases (up to 18%) in nutrient application rates, yields and revenues. Both treatments improve low levels of nutrient use efficiency and reduce high levels of greenhouse gas emission intensity, after two years of treatment. Our findings underscore the possibility of a more gradual and sustainable intensification of smallholder agriculture in SSA, as compared with the Asian Green Revolution, through increased fertilizer use accompanied by improved fertilizer management.
Technology adoption; Agricultural extension; Green revolution; Fertilizer; Greenhouse gas emission; Randomized controlled trial
2023, Volume: 121, article number: 102546
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD