Nigerian farmers, including rice farmers, still record very low levels of fertilizer use thereby limiting productivity. Subsidies have been known to encourage fertilizer use among farmers. This paper examined the factors influencing rice farmer participation in the government’s fertilizer subsidy programme. Data was collected through the aid of a well-structured questionnaire from 263 rice farmers. Descriptive and Logistic regression analyses were used to analyze the data. Statistical mean differences were found in age, household size, years of farming experience, farm size, output and total annual income between participants and non-participants. Also, participation was significantly and positively influenced by marital status, household headship, membership of farmer association/groups, motorcycle ownership, mobile phone ownership, access to credit and total farm size. The paper concludes that efforts should be geared towards encouraging membership of farmer groups, availability and timely distribution of subsidized fertilizer and the establishment of more redemption centres.
Key words: Fertilizer, growth enhancement scheme (GES), participation, rice, subsidy.
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