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The farm income and food security implications of adopting fertilizer micro-dosing and tied-ridge technologies under semi-arid environments in central Tanzania

Habtemariam, Lemlem Teklegiorgis, Mgeni, Charles Peter, Mutabazi, Khamaldin Daud, Sieber, Stefan
Journal of arid environments 2019 v.166 pp. 60-67
Helianthus annuus, data collection, dry environmental conditions, farm income, farmers, farms, fertilizers, food security, household surveys, millets, models, nutrient deficiencies, poverty, semiarid zones, soil nutrients, water harvesting, yields, Tanzania
Adopting fertilizer input and rainwater harvesting techniques play a significant role in minimizing soil nutrient deficiency and moisture stress impact, both prime causes of low crop productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study analyses the extent to which fertilizer micro-dosing (MD) and tied-ridge (TR) technologies can improve smallholder farmers’ food security and farm income. A household survey data along with on-farm trial data collected from semi-arid Tanzania is used for the analysis. The trade-off analysis for multi-dimensional impact assessment model (TOA-MD) is applied for the income and food security impact assessment. The on-farm trial shows a yield increase ranging from 10 to 300 percent for millet, and between 60 and 400 percent for sunflower. The TOA-MD analysis shows that between 52 and 79 percent of farms could be positively influenced to adopt the technologies. The increase in mean net return per farm ranges between 186 and 305 PPP USD. Adoption of the technologies would decrease the percentage of food insecure farmers between 1.8 and 7.1 percent. The study concludes that the technologies have the potential to improve yield and farm income for many farmers. However, these technologies alone would not bring significant change in terms of reducing poverty and food insecurity.