Fertilizer micro-dosing in West African low-input cereals cropping: Benefits, challenges and improvement strategies

Blessing, O C and Ibrahim, A and Safo, E Y and Yeboah, E and Abaidoo, R C and Logah, V and Monica, U I (2017) Fertilizer micro-dosing in West African low-input cereals cropping: Benefits, challenges and improvement strategies. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 12 (14). pp. 1169-1176. ISSN 1991-637X

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Soil amendments are often unavailable in adequate quantities for increased crop production in smallholder cereal-based cropping systems in Africa. In order to increase crop yields and encourage farmers to apply inorganic fertilizers, fertilizer micro-dosing technology was developed. Fertilizer micro-dosing or “micro-fertilization” consists of the application of a small quantity of mineral fertilizer together with seeds of the target crop in the planting hole at sowing or 2-4 weeks after sowing. The objective of this paper is to review literature concerning crops responses to fertilizer micro-dosing in West Africa. The review also evaluates the benefits and challenges associated with nutrient management under fertilizer micro-dosing and supportive strategies for further improvement in the efficient use of limited nutrient sources of smallholder farmers were suggested. Recent scientific developments on fertilizer micro-dosing revealed that this technology has given promising results in respect of crop yields improvement, fertilizer use efficiency and economic returns. Other studies have, however, indicated that fertilizer micro-dosing increases the risk of soil nutrient imbalances due to low-input. For this reason, we suggest that fertilizer micro-dosing should be used in concert with organic amendments to optimize productivity of smallholder farmers in West Africa.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fertilizer micro-dosing, smallholder farmer, crop yield, farmer’s income
Subjects: Others > Cereals
Others > Fertilizers
Others > Fertilizer Applications
Others > African Agriculture
Others > West Africa
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2017 04:50
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2017 04:50
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/9970
Official URL: http://doi.org/10.5897/AJAR2016.11559
Acknowledgement: Authors acknowledge the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) for scholarship support to the first and second authors and institutional support to KNUST and CSIR-SRI.
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