Adoption of Chemical Fertilizer As Influenced By Farmers’ Socio-Economic Characteristics In The North –West Zone (NWZ) of Nigeria
The study was conducted in the 2002/03 agricultural season in two States in the NWZ of Nigeria, namely, Kano and Katsina. The specific objectives were to: (i) Estimate the rates of adoption and application of inorganic fertilizer; and (ii) Determine farmers’ socio-economic characteristics conditioning the adoption of inorganic fertilizer in the two selected States. The mean rates of adoption of inorganic fertilizer were 85.85% for Kano, 98.35% for Katsina, and 92.10% for both States. These rates of adoption were illustrative of a long history of exposure to fertilizer use. The mean rates of application of inorganic fertilizers were 41.49 kg ha-1 for Kano, 67.24 kg ha-1 for Katsina and 54.36 kg ha-1 for both States. These rates, however, fell short of the recommended chemical fertilizer nutrient levels for the staple food crops grown in the two States, indicating that their yield- and soil-enriching potentials were not fully realized. The results of the analysis of the socio-economic factors conditioning adoption of inorganic fertilizer showed that those significantly related with adoption included age, household size, education, membership of associations, farm size, off-farm income, extension contact and land security. Recommendations made included: the complementary applications of inorganic and organic fertilizers; training extension educators and other technical assistants to understand the factors conditioning adoption for more effective targeting and delivery of programmes; the education of the rural populace; encouraging membership of farmers’ associations; the expansion of farm sizes; improved access to production credit; and the strengthening of existing extension systems.