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Is Increasing Inorganic Fertilizer Use in Sub-Saharan Africa a Profitable Proposition? Evidence from Nigeria

AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AGRICULTURAL GROWTH AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION AGRICULTURAL MARKETS AGRICULTURAL POLICY AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY AGRICULTURAL SECTOR AGRICULTURAL TRANSFORMATION AGRICULTURE AGRONOMY AVERAGE TRAVEL TIME BUS CARS CEREAL VARIETIES CEREALS CHEMICAL USE CLIMATE COFFEE COFFEE GROWERS COMMERCIAL FERTILIZER COMMERCIAL SEED COMMERCIALIZATION CORN COST OF TRANSPORTATION CROP CROP FAILURE CROP GROWTH CROP MANAGEMENT CROP MANAGEMENT PRACTICES CROP PRODUCTION CROP YIELD CROP YIELD RESPONSE CROP YIELDS CROPPING CROPPING PATTERNS CROPPING SYSTEMS CROPS CULTIVATION DRIVING ECOLOGICAL ZONE ECOLOGICAL ZONES ECONOMIES OF SCALE FAO FARM FARM ACTIVITIES FARM SIZE FARMER FARMERS FARMING FARMING SYSTEM FARMING SYSTEMS FARMS FERTILISER FERTILIZER FERTILIZER APPLICATION FERTILIZER DEVELOPMENT FERTILIZER PRICES FERTILIZER RESEARCH FERTILIZER SUBSIDIES FERTILIZER SUBSIDY FERTILIZER USE FERTILIZERS FIELD CROPS FOOD CRISIS FOOD CROPS FOOD GRAIN FOOD POLICY FOOD POLICY RES FOOD PRICES FOOD PRODUCTION FOOD PRODUCTS FOOD SECURITY GEODESY GRAIN MARKET GRAIN QUALITY GRAIN YIELD GRAZING GREEN REVOLUTION HABITAT HERBICIDES HIGH TRANSPORTATION HYBRID SEED IFPRI INTERCROPPING INTERNATIONAL FERTILIZER DEVELOPMENT CENTER INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE LABOR DEMAND LAND USE LEGUMES LEGUMINOUS CROPS LOCAL TRANSPORTATION MAIZE MAIZE FARMERS MAIZE PRODUCTION MAIZE YIELDS MANURE MILLET MIXED CROPPING NITROGEN NITROGEN FERTILIZATION NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT PESTICIDE PESTICIDES PLANTING POOR FARMERS POPULATION DENSITIES POPULATION DENSITY POULTRY PRODUCE PRODUCTION SYSTEM PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS QUALITY SEED RICE RICE MILLS RICE PRODUCTION RICE YIELDS ROAD SEED SEED PRODUCTION SEED VARIETIES SEEDS SOIL CHARACTERISTICS SOIL FERTILITY SOIL QUALITY SOILS SORGHUM TRANSPORT TRANSPORT COSTS TRANSPORTATION COST TRANSPORTATION COSTS TREE CROPS TREES TROPICAL AGRICULTURE TRUE UREA VEGETABLES WEALTH WEED CONTROL
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World Bank Group, Washington, DC
Africa | Nigeria
2015-03-11T20:14:00Z | 2015-03-11T20:14:00Z | 2015-02

Inorganic fertilizer use across Sub-Saharan Africa is generally considered to be low. Yet, this belief is predicated on the assumption that it is profitable to use rates higher than currently observed. However, there is little rigorous empirical evidence to support this notion. Using a nationally representative panel data set, and with due recognition of the role of risk and uncertainty, this paper empirically estimates the profitability of fertilizer use for maize production in Nigeria. The analysis finds that inorganic fertilizer use in Nigeria is not as low as conventional wisdom suggests. Low marginal physical product and high transportation costs significantly reduce the profitability of fertilizer use. The paper finds evidence that strategies to reduce transportation costs are likely to have a much larger effect on the profitability of fertilizer use than fertilizer subsidies. Apart from reduced transportation costs, other constraints such as timely access to the product; availability of complementary inputs such as improved seeds, irrigation, and credit; as well as good management practices are also necessary for sustained agricultural productivity improvements.

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