Assessment of Agronomic and Economic Benefits of Fertilizer Use in Maize Production Systems under Variable Farm Size, Climate and Soil Fertility Conditions in Eastern India

Farming in Eastern India is characterized by small landholders. Typically low resource availability to the farmers and low profitability from cereal farming necessitates that inputs, including fertilizer, is used in the most efficient manner to maintain farm profitability in the region. IPNI and it’s partners have recently collected agronomic data from on‐farm nutrient response studies that showed high variability in maize yield response to fertilizer N, P and K across the study region. These data were used to develop the Nutrient Expert (NE) for Maize for South Asia, a decision support tool to implement site specific nutrient management in farmers’ fields. The tool also enables researchers to conduct ex‐ante analysis of nutrient management options, evaluating the economic responses across a range of yield increases based on the resource of the farmer. This project will use NE to conduct ex ante analysis across farm typologies to improve return on investment for maize farmers in Eastern India.

IPNI-2012-IND-521

Background/Justification Eastern India is one of the most populous and intensively cultivated regions in the world. Farming in Eastern India is characterized by small landholders. Typically low resource availability to the farmers and low profitability from cereal farming necessitates that inputs, including fertilizer, is used in the most efficient manner to maintain farm profitability in the region. Read more


Year of initiation:2012
Year of completion:2014
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Interpretive Summary

There is a need to develop effective nutrient management strategies to reduce the yield gap between farmers fields and locally attainable yields. The objective of the study was to investigate the key factors that are responsible for determining maize productivity in eastern India. The hypotheses was that along with agronomic management practices, the farmers' socio-economic status also a has significant influence on nutrient management decisions and ultimately productivity improvement.

Socio-economic conditions of smallholder farmers play a major role in fertilizer application decisions in maize. The Rapid Rural Surveys in the present work helped to identify distinct typologies of maize farmers from West Bengal in Eastern India. Farmer-specific fertilizer recommendations from the Nutrient Expert®tool, integrating biophysical and socio-economic determinants, helped improve maize productivity for different farm typologies.

This project was started with the aim of understanding current fertilization practices of maize-growing farmers in eastern India and provide better recommendations to improve return on investment for farmers in Eastern India. A survey with a thoroughly pre-tested structured interview schedule was conducted in the four eastern Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal. In each state, two districts with distinct agro-ecological systems were considered for the survey work.

This project was initiated to synthesize information on farmer typologies (farmer groups classified by economic and social status), based on access and use of nutrient inputs, and apply the Nutrient Expert® (NE) decision support tool to conduct analysis on the agronomic and economic benefits of nutrient management for various categories of farmers in Eastern India.

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Updates & Reports

2013

Project Description


IPNI and University Scientists are vising farmer's field at Bihar, Eastern India.

Project Leader

Kaushik Majumdar, International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI)


Project Cooperators

Dr. Anshuman Kohli, Bihar
Dr. Hirak Banerjee, West Bengal)
Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Jharkhand
Dr. Sushanta K. Pattanayak, Orissa
Dr. Sudarshan Dutta, IPNI
Dr. T. Satyanarayana, IPNI
Dr. M. L. Jat, CIMMYT


IPNI Staff

S. K. Dutta


Location

Asia \ Southern Asia \ IND \ Bihar \ Khagaria

Asia \ Southern Asia \ IND \ Bihar \ Bhagalpur

Asia \ Southern Asia \ IND \ Jharkhand \ Ranchi

Asia \ Southern Asia \ IND \ Jharkhand \ Sahibganj

Asia \ Southern Asia \ IND \ West Bengal

Asia \ Southern Asia


Topics

4r rate, 4r time, decision support, education

maize

Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K)