African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6848

Article in Press

Economic Analysis of Various Fertilizer Blends on Maize (Zea mays L.) Yield in Lilongwe District, Central Malawi

Gabriel Dean Chilumpha and Jonathan Atkinson

  •  Received: 15 August 2023
  •  Accepted: 28 November 2023
Maize is the main staple food crop and dominates farming systems in Malawi. Maize farming covers 92% of Malawi’s arable land contributing to 54% of national caloric intake. For this reason, the Government has over the decades implemented annual fertilizer subsidy programs for maize production as a key strategy to achieving food security. However, national fertilizer (Basal 23:10:5+6S+1Zn and Top 46%N) remains the only recommendation for maize production in Malawi. This research was conducted to assess the economic viability of recently developed alternative fertilizer blends; Alpha (Basal 17:25:18 and Top 32:0:18) and Mwininthaka (Basal 23:10:5+6S and Top 23:10+5+6S) on maize yield. Experiments were laid down at 4 research sites in Lilongwe district in a completely randomized design with 4 treatments and 2 replications at each site. Primary data was collected on number of cobs and grain yield while secondary data was collected on weather and fertilizer prices which were analyzed using JMP SAS software version 14.0.0. Results showed that there were significant differences (p<0.05) in number of maize cobs and grain yield at three sites. Economic analysis showed that the national fertilizer was cost-effective at two sites while the new fertilizer blends were also cost-effective at the other two sites.

Keywords: Maize production, Fertilizer blends and Economic viability