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Framework and Initial Analyses of Fertilizer Profitability in Maize and Cotton in Zambia

By Cynthia Donovan, M. Damaseke, Jones Govereh and D. Simumba

Abstract

The main question which this research originally sought to answer was whether or not inorganic fertilizers are generally profitable used alone on maize, or with pesticides on cotton, for small farmers in Zambia. Rather than give a definitive answer for each Zambian farmer, the authors developed a framework for analysis and applied that framework to locations with sufficient information. Using simple value/cost ratios, researchers estimated the potential profit of fertilizer for those sites. Then, using the distributions of response rates of the crops (incremental yields) found in the trials and output prices based on regional price series, the probabilities are estimated for VCRs, using a minimum of VCR of 2.0 for profitability. The results for selected locations and input applications are then presented, as examples and indicators of fertilizer profitability in Zambia.food security, food policy, maize, cotton, Zambia, fertilizer profitability, Crop Production/Industries, Q18,

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