Factors Affecting Adoption and Profitability of Fertilizer Marketed Through Cooperatives in Enderta Woreda, Ethiopia
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In spite of the high potential of agriculture, the country could not yet attain self-sufficiency in food production. Various development strategies have been undertaken to improve the performance of agriculture. Intensification of agriculture through the establishment of various projects and institutions has been emphasized over the last three decades. The results of a number of fertilizer use demonstrations and trails played a significant role in encouraging farmers to apply fertilizer. The farmers began to learn the value of fertilizer as the key input to increase production. However, fertilizer adoption rate leaves much to be desired, given the fast growing population and the rapidly declining fertility of the soil. This study attempted to address the factors associated with fertilizer adoption and profitability marketed through Enderta cooperative union. The study area is located in the south east zone of Tigray region. Livestock and crop husbandry are the dominant farming practices. Wheat, barley and teff are the major cereal crops grown in the district, in about 83% of the total cultivated area. Data were collected from 140 sample cooperative members and 64 non-members, using a pre- tested and structured interview schedule. Female headed households constituted 13.24% of the total sample. A bout 87.9% of cooperative members and 68.8% of the non-members adopt chemical fertilizer in 2006/7 crop season. To examine and quantify the factors of fertilizer marketed through cooperative the logit model was used. Value-Cost-Ratio (VCR) was used to estimate fertilizer profitability. The results of logit model showed that Credit, extension service, oxen ownership, age of the farmer, family size, MSC Thesis Year 2008 Prepared By Tsehaye Kidanu iv farmers level of education and availability of manure, are the most important factors of fertilizer adoption. The VCR indicated that teff growers in the study area obtained less profit from the use of fertilizer. Fertilizer price, location specific rate of fertilizer application, interest rate or cost of capital and development of rural feeder roads for timely delivery of inputs (fertilizer), improved extension services and education are areas where interventions are needed.