Transfer, Evaluation and Dissemination of an Innovative Fertilizer Management Tool (Nutrient Expert®) for increasing crop yields and farmers’ income in Eastern Nepal


22 May 2017

2016 Annual Interpretive Summary

Rice, maize, and wheat are the most important food crops of Nepal. The average yields of these crops are low and there is opportunity to improve the yield and profitability for farmers growing these crops through balanced and adequate use of plant nutrients. A total of 100, 96, and 125 farmer participatory trials were conducted in wheat, maize, and rice respectively during 2016 to demonstrate the importance of balanced fertilizer recommendations using Nutrient Expert® (NE) for enhancing productivity and profitability of smallholder farms in the eastern Terai region of Nepal. The NE-based fertilizer recommendation was evaluated and compared with the farmers’ fertilizer management practice (FFP) in rice, wheat, and maize in four villages of Jhapa and Morang district.

The results revealed that NE-based fertilizer application resulted in higher grain yield and higher income to the farmers. In maize, the mean grain yield with NE was 8.8 t/ha, which was 77% higher than the FFP (5.0 t/ha). In wheat, the highest yield of 3.4 t/ha was obtained in the NE treatment, compared to 2.7 t/ha in the FFP treatment, indicating a 25% higher yield with NE over FFP. The higher number of spikes recorded per unit area contributed to the higher yield in NE plots. For rice, the highest grain yield of 4.7 t/ha was obtained in the NE treatment, while the FFP treatment produced 3.3 t/ha of grain yield. The higher number of productive tillers and increased percentage of filled grains were recorded in NE treatments, which resulted in an additional yield of 1.4 t/ha over the FFP. The NE-based fertilizer recommendations generated an average additional income of NPR 96,731, 13,256, and 33,328 in maize, wheat, and rice, respectively over the FFP, indicating an economic advantage to farmers practicing balanced fertilization.

The farmers were convinced about the benefits of adoption of NE-based fertilizer management in rice, maize or wheat. A follow-up survey on the impact assessment of NE reported farmers in the study region have increased their farm area using NE recommendations. The partners involved in the project requested extending IPNI support to District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) or other associated stakeholders for large scale dissemination of NE-based fertilizer recommendations.