Does irrigation enhance and food deficits discourage fertilizer adoption in a risky environment? Evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia
Using a Cragg (Double Hurdle) model, the authors analyse how rainfall risks, access to irrigation and food deficits affect the probability that farm households’ use fertilizer and given that the probability is positive and significant, the amount (intensity) of fertilizer use. Accordingly, we found that households were more likely to use fertilizer and that they used significantly higher amounts of fertilizer on their irrigated plots than on rain-fed plots. Furthermore, households with access to irrigation were more likely to use fertilizer, but the intensity (amount) of fertilizer they used was not significantly different from those households without access to irrigation.
In investigating the effect of rainfall risk on fertilizer use, we found that:
- fertilizer use was significantly higher in areas with higher average rainfall and in areas with lower rainfall variability
- in general, irrigation was found significantly important for fertilizer adoption mainly in areas with low rainfall and high rainfall variability
- investigating the effect of food deficit on fertilizer adoption the authors found that both food self-sufficient and food deficit households were less likely to use fertilizer as coping mechanism
- however, among those who decided to adopt fertilizer use, the food deficit households used higher amount of fertilizer than the food self-sufficient