March 2013 - October 2014

Understanding Fertilizer Effectiveness and Adoption in Zambia


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Principal Investigator
Senior Fellow
  • William Wrigley Professor of Earth System Science
  • Senior Fellow, Stanford Woods Institute and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Senior Fellow and Founding Director, Center on Food Security and the Environment

This project will focus on the potential role of fertilizer in the intensification of maize production amongst Zambian smallholders. Data to be analyzed during this research includes household survey data and linked soil analysis data. The specific contributions of the analysis will be threefold: 1) to provide estimates and determinants of yield response to various types of fertilizer, 2) to quantify the knowledge gained by using soil analysis and tailored statistical methods to estimate yield response, and 3) to analyze household behavior with respect to estimated yield response, particularly the seemingly irrational fertilizer adopters and non-adopters. The results of this research will provide critical information for the development of both short term and long term policy strategies in Zambia, and given the importance of fertilizer use for global food security in the long run, can inform further research in other regions as well.