A recently published article, titled “Enhanced-efficiency nitrogen fertilizer boosts cauliflower productivity and farmers’ income: Multi-location and multi-year field trials across Nepal” has been co-authored by Shriniwas Gautam, evidence and learning associate with the University of Notre Dame’s Pulte Institute for Global Development. The article was published in Experimental Agriculture, a journal by Cambridge University Press.
The article evaluates the potential of three different Enhanced-Efficiency Nitrogen Fertilizers (EENFs) to increase plant nutrient and productivity, while reducing harmful environmental effects, in Nepal. The study used a multi-location and multi-year field trial with cauliflower: a popular and economically important winter vegetable grown widely in the country. While the area and production of cauliflower is increasing, the productivity is low in Nepal due in part to inefficient nutrient application and management. Nepali farmers have a higher affinity for Nitrogen, primarily due to the attractive price subsidy compared to other major nutrients (e.g. Phosporous and Potash).
Nepalese farmers make low use of secondary nutrients and micronutrients, which results in reduced Nitrogen use efficiency and higher nutrient losses to the environment. The results from the multi-locations trials, which were conducted across seven districts in Nepal during 2018-2020, suggested that EENFs could help increase productivity and farmers’ income while significantly reducing the amount of Nitrogen input.
As there are only a few studies that assess the potential of EENFs, the authors recommend more research on testing the efficiency of EENFs across different regions and crops in the country. The authors also recommend the government of Nepal promote these EENFs by removing barriers to their import, distribution, and use through the agricultural extension system.
Gautam is an expert in agricultural economics, particularly skilled in the planning and execution of agricultural and rural development projects. Experimental Agriculture is a journal that publishes results of original field research with a focus on tropical and subtropical regions around the world.