Integrated Plant Nutrient Management: Farmers’ Practice at Field Level
The major focus of this study was to determine the extent of practice of IPNM approach by the farmers for their crop production. A sample of 120 farmers consist of landless, marginal, small, medium and large was selected randomly for data collection from a population of 805. Eight villages under four districts were the locale of the study. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews from December 2005 to January 2006. Four point scale such as ‘do not practice’, ‘rarely practice’, ‘occasionally practice’ and ‘regularly practice by assigning the scores of 0, 1, 2 and 3 respectively for collection of data. The highest proportion of landless, marginal and small farmers were found with either do not practice or rarely practice categories regarding the practice of the components of IPNM approach for their crop production. Medium and large farmers, on the other hand, do practice these components either occasionally or regularly. Findings concerning overall practice of this approach by the farmers reveals that a little more than two-fifths (42%) of the farmers practice IPNM approach rarely followed by occasionally practiced category (41%), while a less than one-fifths (17%) practice regularly. Farmers’ financial inability, high prices and unavailability of fertilizers during cropping seasons, farmers’ lack of knowledge about IPNM approach, inadequate extension support, and shortage of bio-fuel and population pressure were identified as the major reasons among others that direct farmers towards inadequate practice of IPNM approach.