Drivers for Organic Fertilizers Adoption by Maize Farmers, Nambale Subcounty, Iganga District.
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This study aimed at contributing to increase in maize production and yields by maize producers in Iganga district, conducted in Nambaale sub county. The objectives of this study were to characterize maize producers by fertilizer type used, to determine the profitability of using each of the different types of fertilizers and to assess the determinants of choice of fertilizer type to use. The researcher hypothesized that educational level of maize farmers does not significantly influence fertilizer use and that maize farmers who use fertilizers are more likely to make more profits. This study was conducted in Nambale Sub County in Iganga district where a sample size of 80 farmers, small medium and large maize farmers who use both organic and inorganic fertilizers at small, medium and large scale were targeted. Descriptive and comparative study designs were used. Questionnaires, interviews and direct observation were used to collect data, where data collected was analyzed using SPSS software. The results of the study indicated that the majority of respondents were males (62.5%) and married (90.0%). Farming was the main occupation of majority of these respondents (91.3%), Longe 5 (37.5%) was the most preferred maize variety of these farmers because it was cheaper, of high quality and provided more yields. Majority of these respondents preferred inorganic fertilizers(60.3%) because it was cheaper (22.5%) and provided more yields (26.3%). The results also indicated that the educational level of respondents did not significantly influence the fertilizer type used since P>0.05 at 5%. The results of the study also indicated that the mean revenue of the farmers who used inorganic fertilizers was greater than that of those who used organic fertilizers. The results of the study also indicated that farmers who used organic fertilizers had more profits with a mean of 124828.13 Uganda shillings than farmers who used inorganic fertilizers with a mean of Uganda shillings 36170.73. The study also indicated that age, marital status, educational level distance from the tarmac road, main market, profits and farmers’ assets do not determine the choice of fertilizer type to use by farmers since P>0.05 at 5%. The researcher concludes that farmers in Nambale Subcounty have engaged in using fertilizers both organic and inorganic and adopted some modern practices of maize farming such as use of oxen, tractors, use of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. These practices and fertilizer use have led to increase in their production hence increase in their incomes. However farmers face a lot of constraints such as low market prices, notorious weed called Kayongo, high prices of inputs, lack of sensitization on fertilizer use, which discourages them to grow maize since low profits are obtained. The researcher also recommended that despite the use of these fertilizers by some farmers, they need to be educated and sensitized on the proper ways of using these fertilizers. And that the government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and fisheries should provide wheel barrows for easy transportation of fertilizers to the garden. The government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and fisheries should do more research and find a solution to the Kayongo weed that is a problem to farmers to help them attain more yields.