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Title:Maize response to fertilizer and fertilizer-use decisions for farmers in Ghana
Author(s):Hill, Alexandra
Advisor(s):Kirwan, Barrett E.
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
fertilizer profitability
maize responsiveness to fertilizer
fertilizer use on maize fields for farmers in Ghana
analyzing the effects of a fertilizer subsidy on maize profitability
Abstract:Current maize yields in Ghana average only one-third of their estimated potential, but this yield gap can be reduced by improving farming practices and growing conditions in Ghana; specifically, yields in Ghana can likely be increased by intensifying the use of fertilizer, other inputs, and irrigation systems. Recently, Ghana introduced a fertilizer subsidy program to help increase fertilizer-use rates, however, little work has been done to examine the effectiveness of this program, or to determine the viability of using fertilizer to increase yields in Ghana. This paper (1) determines the marginal effects of inorganic fertilizer on maize output using OLS and quantile regressions, (2) determines the profitability of fertilizer at the subsidized and unsubsidized prices using the value-cost ratio, and (3) examines alternate instruments for increasing fertilizer use using a linear probability model. I find that fertilizer use has a positive and significant effect on maize yields in all models that I consider; despite this positive correlation, however, I find that fertilizer is not sufficiently profitable for the average Ghanaian farmer to incentivize additional application. Finally, I find that the farmer’s distance from the closest weekly market, whether the farmer has a pre-harvest contract, and whether the farmer has property rights on the field have significant correlations with fertilizer use.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Alexandra Hill
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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