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Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Drivers of Inorganic Fertilizer Use in Tanzania: A Comparison of the TZNPS and FF Datasets
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
URL https://evans.uw.edu/sites/default/files/public/EPAR_Request_201_Drivers of Inorganic Fertilizer Use​in Tanzania_090713_af.pdf
Evidence suggests that farmers in developing countries can increase agricultural production by adopting
technologies such as inorganic fertilizer and improved seed varieties, leading to positive economic and nutritional
impacts (Feder, 1985; Foster, 2010). The diffusion of agricultural technologies has, therefore, been a cornerstone
of many development programs. However, efforts to promote agricultural technologies have had mixed results,
particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, indicating that there is still an incomplete understanding of the factors that
lead to technology adoption in developing countries (Nkonya, 1997; Toenniessen, 2008).
This brief explores how two datasets – The Tanzania National Panel Survey (TZNPS) and the TNS-Research
International Farmer Focus (FF) – predict the determinants of inorganic fertilizer use among smallholder farmers in
Tanzania by using regression analysis. The (TZNPS) was implemented by the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics,
with support from the World Bank Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMSISA)
team and includes extensive information on crop productivity and input use. The FF survey was funded by the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by TNS Research International and focuses on the on the
behaviors and attitudes of smallholder farmers in Tanzania. The two datasets produce relatively comparable
results for the primary predictors of inorganic fertilizer use: agricultural extension and whether or not a household
grows cash crops. However, other factors influencing input use produce results that vary in magnitude and
direction of the effect across the two datasets. Distinct survey instrument designs make it difficult to test the
robustness of the models on input use other than inorganic fertilizer. This brief uses data inorganic fertilizer use,
rather than adoption per se. The TZNPS did not ask households how recently they began using a certain product
and although the FF survey asked respondents how many new inputs were tried in the past four planting seasons,
they did not ask specifically about inorganic fertilizer.

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