Gaining a better understanding of local fertilizer prices for African smallholder farmers

Crop yields in Africa south of the Sahara are generally low, in large part because of low fertilizer use. A recent study of six countries in the region showed that only 35% of farmers applied fertilizer. There are many possible reasons why farmers do not use fertilizer. They may be unaware of its effectiveness; or have degraded soils that do not respond to fertilizer; they may not have the cash to purchase it; or unpredictable rainfall may make such investments risky. Local fertilizer prices may also cut into potential profits for many farmers.

Photo credit: Peter Lowe/CIMMYT