Advances in Agriculture and Agricultural Sciences

Advances in Agriculture and Agricultural Sciences ISSN 2381-3911 Vol. 8 (1), pp. 001-006, January, 2022. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Economic assessment of fertilizer use and integrated practices for environmental sustainability and agricultural productivity in Sudan savannah zone, Nigeria

Ayoola Josephine Bosede

Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Kogi State University (KSU), Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria. E-mail: gbayoola@yahoo.com. Tel: (+234) 8054447964.

Accepted 14 November, 2021

Abstract 

An assessment of fertilizer use and other integrated practices was carried out with two hundred farmers selected by stratified random sampling from twenty villages in Kano and Katsina States of Nigeria. The farming system was mixed farming (legume-cereal-livestock mixture), as a strategy both to address nutrient management as well as their livelihoods (both food and income security). The major crops comprised maize, sorghum, millet, rice, soybean, groundnut and cowpea. The average farm size was 7.4 ha and livestock comprised an average of 14 goats, 15 poultry birds, 7 sheep and 9 cattle. An average of 63 kg fertilizer was applied per ha of land relative to about 649 kg of fertilizer requirement per hectare of the crops grown, very low relative to Asia and some other African countries such as South Africa, Malawi, Benin and Ethiopia. The livestock mix provided substantial farmyard manure for fertilizing the soils and supplemented farm drought animals / animal traction while the crop residues (legumes and cereals) provided feeds for the livestock. It was found that fertilizer use multiplies the returns on farmers’ output by a factor of 2.1-14.6, which was relatively higher than previous findings (IFDC, 2002) for the same crops in Nigeria, but crop yields were comparatively less for other Sub-Saharan and Asian countries. The observed higher response coefficient could be explained by the use of organic/farmyard manures and other soil conservation practices. Farmers exploit land and the natural fertility of the soil through continuous cropping and poor fertilization (organic and inorganic). Critical environmental issues emanating from these are soil nutrient depletion, soil degradation by erosion, weed and pest invasion, all culminating in sustained low productivity. It was therefore concluded that sustained growth in agricultural productivity without environmental exploitation and degradation cannot be achieved unless efforts to enhance farmers’ fertilizer use and organic fertilization are taken seriously. Efforts should be put in place to correct fertilizer market inadequacies, particularly to monitor the quality standard and guarantee farmers’ access to fertilizers, as well as encourage National research and extension programs to emphasize economic use of basic local materials for effective fertilization of farmers’ fields, reduced vulnerability to nutrient loss and drought, and increased agricultural productivity.

Key words: Organic, inorganic, fertilizer, nutrient loss, environmental, exploitation, degradation, soil conservation, agricultural productivity.