Profitability and Institutional Constraints to the Adoption of Fertilizer Microdosing in Northwest Benin

Erika Bachmann, David Natcher, Suren Kulshreshtha, Mohamed Nasser Baco, P. B. I. Akponikpe, Derek Peak


Various agricultural techniques have been developed as components of food security interventions, but their effectiveness in addressing food insecurity in part depends upon the effectiveness of these techniques in fulfilling farmers’ objectives. This paper presents the results of research that examined the constraints that limit the adoption of microdosing by farmers in northwest Benin. The results of farmer field trials indicate that on average, microdosing produced lower yields and proved less profitable than recommended levels. In addition to reduced profitability, numerous institutional constraints were identified that further limit adoption. These constraints include poorly functioning input markets, inefficient distribution systems, limited affordability and credit constraints, liquidity constraints, and government policies that limit cross-border access to inputs as well as the prioritization of fertilizer for cotton production over food crops.

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