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


02 Jun 2018

2017 Annual Interpretive Summary

The study was aimed at developing and disseminating improved fertilizer recommendations, using the Nutrient Expert® (NE) fertilizer decision support tool, for the farmers of Nepal in collaboration with FORWARD, a leading non-governmental organization in Nepal, and the Non-Resident Nepalese Association of Australia (NRNA). The NE fertilizer recommendations were compared with official government recommendations and farmers' fertilizer practice with 600 farmers growing rice, maize and wheat in Zhapa and Morang districts of eastern Nepal.

The results revealed that NE-based fertilizer recommendations improved the yield of rice, maize, and wheat by 16, 47, and 42% over the farmer practice. The corresponding increase of yield over the official recommendations in wheat and maize was 18 and 21%, respectively. The increased yield also raised farm income by an additional Nepalese Rupees (NR) 18,100 to 19,050/ha in rice, NR 12,040 to 28,860/ha in wheat, and NR 43,525 to 73,650/ha in maize. The study indicated that Nepalese farmers are able to significantly improve the yields of rice, wheat, and maize, and also raise their income through the use of site-specific fertilizer recommendations generated by NE.

The research project organized 4R Nutrient Stewardship training programs for the scientists of the Nepal Agricultural Research Council, local government extension, students and researchers from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, and agronomists from FORWARD and helped in capacity building of stakeholders on the use of NE. The study also organized a field tour of national government officials, university scientists, FORWARD staff, and farmers from Nepal to the farmer fields and on-farm research stations in Begusarai, Samastipur, and Muzzafarpur districts of Bihar in India, and helped in capacity building and knowledge exchange between the farmers of two neighboring countries. The study was concluded in 2016.