An Economic Analysis of Precision Application of Lime at Reduced Rates

Kelvin Mulungu, Gelson Tembo, Stephen Kabwe


Acidity is a growing concern for crop production in Zambia, affecting more than 300,000 smallholder farmers in all agro-ecological regions of the country. Unfortunately, evidence shows that lime applied at traditionally recommended rates of more than two metric tons per hectare are not only unattainable but also unprofitable in smallholder systems. This study uses data from on-station trials and demonstration plots to determine yield and financial gains from precisely applied lime at reduced rates. The results from marginal analysis show that lime applied at such reduced rates can be profitable in maize, soybean and groundnut production. When combined with compost, marginal returns can be as high as 150 percent.

Keywords: Lime, reduced rate, marginal returns, Zambia

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1700 ISSN (Online)2222-2855

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