ADOPTION of improved agricultural technology by farmers can contribute to an economically efficient farm sector, says the 2015 Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) Rural Agricultural Livelihoods Survey report.
According to the report, improved agricultural technology by farmers can contribute to an economically efficient farm sector and the financial viability for farmers through improved production and productivity.
The report says the adoption of improved technologies at national level showed that 25.6 percent of farmers used fertilizer in their fields, with Lusaka Province having the highest fertilizer use of 45.7 percent and Western Province 5.8 percent, having the lowest.
It says the percentage of land cultivated that is fertilized follows a similar pattern with the percentage of fertilizer use.
Western Province showed the least cultivated land that is fertilized with 7.6 percent and Lusaka Province had the highest 72.1 percent; the average fertilizer applied per hectare is 160kg.
According to the report, the rate of fertilizer application is higher in Northern Province at 175.9kg/ha and lowest in the Southern Province at 111.3kg/ha.
Meanwhile, farmers in Zambia on average produced about 2 metric tonnes (MT) of maize.
The report shows that maize yields are lowest in Western Province, averaging 1.1 MT followed by Southern Province with 1.6 MT.
According to the report, groundnut yields do not vary a lot across the provinces though households in Eastern Province obtained the least output per hectare – about 580kg – compared to the national average of approximately 670 kg.
Soya beans yields equally vary, with Central and Lusaka provinces having relatively higher yields.
In terms of cotton yields, the report shows that Copperbelt Province has the highest yields 3.53 MT, while parts of Lusaka, Central and Eastern provinces record slightly higher yields than other cotton growing provinces.