Ethiopia is the principal chickpea producer in Africa. Chickpea is widely cultivated in highlands and semi-arid area; however, productivity of chickpea remains low; due to poor crop management, and lack of improved varieties; iInformation on the use of rhizobium strain and NPSB fertilizer rate is the major yield limiting factors of chickpea production on Vertisol in Meskan. Hence, field experiment was executed in 2018; to evaluate yield and yield components of improved chickpea varieties to different rates of NPSB fertilizer and rhizobium inoculant. Treatment factors were arranged as two levels of inoculation (with and without), two chickpea varieties (Arerti and Habru) and four levels of NPSB fertilizer (0, 30, 60, 90 kg ha-1). The experiment was conducted in 2×2×4 factorial combination in randomized complete block design with three replications. ANOVA revealed that yield and yield components were differed significantly. The highest mean value of yield obtained from combined application of rhizobium inoculation and 60kg NPSB ha-1 from variety Habru resulted in 77.11 % increase over the control. The partial budget analysis showed that maximum net benefit (ETB 66740.19 ha-1) was obtained from combined application of rhizobium inoculation and 60 kg NPSB ha-1 with variety Habru and marginal rate of return of 5754.64 %; while, minimum net benefit (ETB 12886 ha-1) was obtained from the control. Rhizobium inoculation and application of 60 kg NPSB ha-1 with Habru variety could be tentatively recommended for chickpea production in Meskan and similar agroecolgy.
Keywords: Blended fertilizer, improved chickpea varieties, Inoculation