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Assessing the Potential to Change Stakeholders Knowledge and Practices on Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa

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DOI: 10.4236/as.2014.514149    4,724 Downloads   5,499 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Africa’s fertilizer use averages only 8 kg per hectare per year. Available fertilizer recommenda-tions in Africa are high, and vary between countries. The recommendations are generally out dated, and/or “blanket” recommendations that are not site, or crop specific. Recommendation developed for one crop is often used for another and possibly unrelated crop. CABI and AGRA designed a project whose goal is “to help improve the capacity of National Research Institutions in developing fertilizer recommendations for efficient and profitable fertilizer use in 13 sub-Saharan African countries within the framework of ISFM practices under smallholder farming by the end of March 2016”. Baseline survey conducted in May 2014 targeted scientists, policy makers, extension workers, agro-dealers, fertilizer companies and farmers/farmer organization. Snowballing and convenience sampling techniques were used to get the sample and emails were used to reach the respondents. A total of 416 respondents were targeted but only 219 responded from 12 countries. Out of the 219, 148 were extension workers and researchers. About half (51%) of the scientists are aware of fertilizer optimization tool, and a lesser proportion have used the tool across all countries (31%). Fewer extension workers (31%) were aware of the fertilizer optimization tool and none reported to have used the tool. On average about 5% of the study participants reported that other stakeholders were involved in the development of fertilizer recommendations including farmers, farmer organizations, policy makers, researchers, extension workers, agro dealers, fertilizer companies and donor organizations. Stakeholder involvement was highest in Nigeria at 15%, followed by Ethiopia (13%) and Malawi (10%) but most of the countries reported <5%. There is a general understanding that development of fertilizer recommendations is a multi-stakeholder initiative and therefore need for involving many stakeholders in the development of fertilizer recommendations across Africa that will fosters greater ownership and sustainability.

Cite this paper

Rware, H. , Wairegi, L. , Oduor, G. , Macharia, M. , Romney, D. , Tarfa, B. , Maria, R. , Ley, G. , Tetteh, F. , Makumba, W. , Dicko, M. , Nouri, M. , Leon, N. , Gondwe, B. , Kaizzi, K. , Negash, D. , Kibunja, C. , Alawy, A. , Wartmann, C. and Rutsimba, E. (2014) Assessing the Potential to Change Stakeholders Knowledge and Practices on Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa. Agricultural Sciences, 5, 1384-1391. doi: 10.4236/as.2014.514149.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

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