Curtailing Fertilizer Scarcity and Climate Change; an appraisal of Factors Affecting Organic Materials Use Option in Nigeria’s Agriculture

Global trends nowadays towards long term sustainable crop production is hinged on either supplementing the use of chemical fertilizers with organic materials or a complete use of organic materials. This is more so since substituting chemical fertilizers with organic materials reduces the risks of exposure to ailments that arise on account of synthetic compounds and increases farmers’ gains via reduced soil erosion and carbon emissions and increased bio-diversity. In this vein, the current study investigated organic materials use in Nigeria’s agriculture. Specifically, the study examined availability and use of chemical fertilizer and organic materials substitutes and investigated factors affecting the use of organic materials in the Nigerian food sector. The study data were drawn from a survey of sixty-one farm households that used organic materials as major nutrients inputs or as supplement with chemical fertilizers for their cropping activities. The study area is Shira in Nigeria. Farmers in this area usually incorporate the use of organic materials in their agriculture. The descriptive statistics and regression analyses were used to analyse the study data. Results indicate that farmers in the study area source their chemical fertilizer inputs from the open market at an exorbitant price of N2000 (US dollar $13.8) per bag on average thereby using very low rates of chemical fertilizers. Organic materials used by farmers were sourced from cattle, goats, sheep and poultry droppings. The quantity of organic material used was 12,513.0 kg per hectare at a cost of N15,015.6 (US dollar $103.5). Major constraints in the use of organic materials by farmers include poor transport facilities and cutworm infestations of the organic materials. Factors revealed to influence the quantity of organic material used by farmers were the cost of organic materials and the quantity of chemical fertilizers used by the farmers. The study therefore calls for stakeholders in the food sub-sector to encourage the establishment of blending plants for the production of organic materials, burning of organic materials before usage, and the need to enhance researches aimed at establishing optimal material mixtures and application rates for organic materials used in the Nigerian farming systems.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

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