Assessment of organic fertilizer usage by vegetable farmers in Asa Local Government area of Kwara State, Nigeria
Vegetables support rural and urban population both in terms of subsistence and income generation. Its cultivation however presents with problems that can be reduced with the use of organic fertilizers. Therefore, there is a need to assess the use of organic fertilizer among vegetable growers as it directly affects yield of vegetables. This study was conducted in Asa Local Government Area of Kwara State. Purposive and simple random sampling was used to select 120 respondents who were interviewed. Results from the study showed that the majority of the respondents (94%) were above 25 years while 77% of the farmers were females. A few number of the respondents (19%) had secondary education while many (50%) lack formal education. A large proportion (86%) of the respondents use organic fertilizer on their farms and 72% use a combination of poultry droppings and cow-dung to fertilize their farms on a regular basis (fortnightly). Offensive odour and transportation problems were among the prominent limitations to the use of organic fertilizer among the farmers. The study concludes that although vegetable farmers in the study area profusely use organic fertilizer, the yield is rather poor. It was therefore recommended that application should be supervised by relevant agencies to ensure correct levels of usage whilst research institutes need to devise means of reducing offensive smells of organic fertilizers.
Keywords: Organic fertilizer, Vegetable production, Yield, offensive odour