Challenges to maize fertilization in the forest and transition zones of Ghana

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
African journal of agricultural research
Maize (Zea mays) is Ghana’s most important cereal crop grown in all agro-ecological zones by smallholder farmers. The average yield of maize (1.7 tha-1) is far below attainable yield of 5.5 tha-1. This is due to reliance on rain fed farming, local seed varieties and low inputs use. Farmers face many challenges in their attempt to adopt the use of fertilizer to improve their maize production. To unearth these challenges, data on the potential and limitations to maize fertilization in the maize belt of Ghana were collected through a farm level survey in October 2011. A four stage randomized sampling procedure was used to select 168 maize farmers who were interviewed using formal questionnaire. Some of the farmers especially, settlers do not have land of their own and have to rely on tenancy arrangements to access land for farming. Farmers were of the view that their crop lands are gradually declining in fertility. Almost 55% of the farmers practise continuous maize cropping. The lack or low accessibility to credit and high cost of fertilizer are the key constraints to farmers’ ability to expand their maize farming. Additionally, the mode and distance needed to transport fertilizer to the farm is a disincentive.
This article is published in African journal of agricultural research and also available at DOI: 10.5897/AJAR12.1698
Maize, fertilizer use, Ghana, farmers, continuous cropping
African journal of agricultural research , 9(6):593-602