Fertilizer use and yields of maize, rice, and soybean farmers in Ghana

The material provides insights into the FERARI program, focusing on fertilizer research and responsible implementation in Ghana's Guinea, Sudan, and Transitional agroecological zones. It addresses the critical issue of low fertilizer use in Ghana, averaging 20 kilograms per hectare, resulting in suboptimal crop yields, especially for maize, rice, and soybean. FERARI program aims to enhance the understanding of current fertilizer use and its impact on crop yields among farmers. A baseline study in 2020, involving 1,450 farmers, revealed that 80.5% of farmers used fertilizer during the 2019 cropping season. While many adhered to recommended nutrient management practices, less than half applied fertilizer at the recommended rate, primarily due to inadequate capital. The publication further discusses the types and quantities of fertilizers used for maize, rice, and soybean crops and the challenges hindering fertilizer access and use, including limited credit, inadequate extension services, and concerns about fertilizer quality. Motivational factors for fertilizer use are explored, with a focus on improving crop yields and health. Crop yield data reveal that farmers' yields remain far below their potential, especially without fertilizer use. Different fertilizer formulations showed varying effects on crop yields, with NPK with S proving to be more effective than NPK with Zn. The study concludes that promoting good agronomic practices and developing more appropriate fertilizer products are essential for sustainable fertilizer use in Ghana. Additionally, policy recommendations should address these findings to improve crop production and food security in the region.
Fertilizers, Soil degradation
Adzawla, W., I.N. Kissiedu, E. Martey, P.M. Etwire, W.K. Atakora, A. Gouzaye, and P.S. Bindraban. 2021. “Fertilizer Use and Yields of Maize, Rice, and Soybean Farmers in Ghana,” IFDC FERARI Policy Brief No. 6.