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CREED Paper #28: Farmers' Perceptions of Soil Fertility in Benin

Author(s)Ingrid Mulder
Serie(s)Creed Working Papers


An analysis of farmers' knowledge of alternative techniques to improve soil fertility, particularly their perception of the benefits and costs, is essential for explaining why farmers adopt measures for soil fertility improvement. Inevitably if farmers are unaware of certain techniques or their benefits then there will be no uptake. Therefore a key question to be addressed is what benefits do farmers expect to gain from different soil fertility regimes.

The benefits of soil fertility management fall into three main categories: an extended cropping period, an increased yield and a wider crop choice. This paper examines each of these advantages based on the results of a survey undertaken among farmers in Atacora region, Benin. The survey aimed to investigate what farmers were planning to do in the coming five years, and to compare these plans with their actual behaviour, focusing on the different combinations of crop and soil fertility management regimes. We also examine the monetary benefits of different crop and technique choice using a regression analysis, and the constraints to farmers to achieving the optimal combination.


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