Organic Fertilizers Use By Small Scale Vegetable Farmers in Ejusu-Juaben Municipality in Ashanti Region of Ghana
The study examined the key factors that influence the use of organic fertilizers among vegetable farmers. Fifty (50) vegetable farmers from four communities in Ejusu-Juaben Municipality in the Ashanti Region of Ghana who had ever consciously used organic fertilizers on their farms were interviewed to understand the key factors that influence their use of organic fertilizer in vegetable farming. Even though the majority of the key informants who used organic fertilizers were of the view that it is available, affordable and improved the productivity and quality of vegetables produced significantly, only a few (12%) continued to apply it. The key reasons for continuous application by the farmers were that organic fertilizers last longer in the soil as compare to inorganic fertilizers, an increase in yield and quality of their produce. The main reasons given for discontinuance of the use of organic fertilizer include 1. unhygienic nature of the fertilizer, hence its association with pest and disease after the application, 2. less yield compared to inorganic fertilizers 3. Bulkiness during transportation and 4. Difficulty in its application. To improve the use of organic fertilizers in vegetable production, efforts by government and agro-processors should be directed at the processing and packaging of organic fertilizers for portability, hygiene, and ease of use. They should also create the necessary (including environmental and health) awareness on the importance of organic produce, and the policy support for certification and pricing of organic produce.
Organic fertilizer use; small scale farmers, Vegetable farmers, Ghana
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