Effects of Fertilizer Application on Productivity of Maize
The study focused on the effects of fertilizer application on the productivity of maize in Bukusu sub-county, Manafwa district. The study has different objectives which include; to examine the differences in farm characteristics for the farms that make use of fertilisers to produce maize and those that do not and to analyse the extent to which fertilisers affect maize productivity for farmers in Manafwa district. The data were collected using questionnaires from 100 respondents from seven parishes of Bukusu sub-county. The parishes included Nambaale, Bukhwaya, Bunyinza, Bukewa, Bumalele, Bunambwila, Bunamakhosi. The data were analysed using descriptive statistcis and also by a linear regression. The study revealed the characteristics of farmers growing maize as having an average age of 43.4 years with at least an average experience of 13.8 years in maize production and they had an average land size of 1.605 acres. A few had access to extension services, dominated by male farmers and primary school was the most prominent level of education, they grew both local and hybrid varieties using their own savings and family labour to facilitate production. The soil type majorly used for production is loam soil. The study also revealed that the key factors that affect productivity for maize were the use of fertilisers and the use of irrigation. The study also revealed limited access to extension services as the most significant constraint in maize production as well as pests and disease issue followed by high costs of fertilizers. The key recommendations of the study are that the government should support farmers to afford the use of fertilisers by providing subsidies and also effective delivery of extension service to educate framers of the benefits of using fertilizers.