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Identifying constraints of bio-fertilizer adoption (Azospirillum and Azotobacter bacteria) by corn farmers of Shoushtar Township, Iran

Abstract Use of bio-fertilizers is one of the important components of nutrient management, as they are renewable source of plant nutrients to supplement the chemical fertilizers for sustainable agriculture. This study is aimed at identifying the constraints of bio-fertilizer adoption (azospirillum and azotobacter bacteria) by corn farmers of Shoushtar Township, Iran. The methodology of this research is non experimental (descriptive) and correlation. Geographic area of this study includes the Shoushtar Township and it has been done in 2013.The population of this study included all corn farmers in Shoushtar Township, Khouzestan province, Iran. The sample size according to the Cochran equation was 148. The farmers were classified into two categories of adopters, and non-adopters. A questionnaire, as the main study tool, was designed in seven sections. Content and face validity were established by a panel of experts. A pilot study was conducted with 30 persons. Computed Cronbach Alpha score was 83.5%, which indicated that the questionnaire was highly reliable. Based on the results, lack of education and extension practices was considered as the important factor for non-usage bio-fertilizers in the farming practices. The lack of knowledge of experts about bio-fertilizers was the second reason for non-adoption. Based on the logit model, correctly predicted 73 percent of the adopters and non-adopters. The analysis indicated that the following farmers’ personal, economical and social characteristics were positively and significantly related to the adoption: Educational level, farm size, accessibility, attitude to natural conservation, on farm income, off farm income and social participation.

J. Bio. & Env. Sci. 2014

J. Bio. & Env. Sci. 2014 Discussion Based on the results, educational level was positively and significantly related to the bio-fertilizers adoption. Nkonya et al (1997) and Shahidi Zandi (1997) have confirmed the role of educational factors in the technology adoption. In addition market price negatively and significantly related to the biofertilizers adoption. Kherallah et al (2001) confirmed the role of market price in the technology adoption. Also the farm size level was positively and significantly related to the bio-fertilizers adoption. Kherallah et al (2001) has confirmed the role of farm size in the technology adoption. Based on the results the attitude to natural conservation was positively and significantly related to the bio-fertilizers adoption. Ommani et al (2009) has confirmed the role of farm size in the technology adoption. As another result, the on farm and off farm income were positively and significantly related to the biofertilizers adoption. Feder et al (1985) has confirmed the role of farm size in the technology adoption. The social participation positively and significantly related to the bio-fertilizers adoption. Ommani et al (2009) has confirmed the role of social participation in the technology adoption. it was ranked as the second reason. Based on the logit model, correctly predicted 73 percent of the adopters and non-adopters. The analysis indicated that the following farmers’ personal, economical and social characteristics were positively and significantly related to the adoption: Educational level, farm size, accessibility, attitude to natural conservation, on farm income, off farm income and social participation. References Astaraee A, Koochaki A. 2006. Utilizing biological fertilizer in sustainable agriculture. Mashhad: Jihad daneshgahi press. Baconguis R, Penalba L, Paunlagui M. 2012. Mapping the Innovation System of Bio-fertilizers: Constraints and Prospects to Enhance Diffusion, American-Eurasian Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences 12 (9), 1185-1195, 2012. Biari A, Gholami A, Rahmani HA. 2008. Growth Promotion and Enhanced Nutrient Uptake of Maize (Zea maysL.) by Application of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria in Arid Region of Iran. Journal of Biological Sciences 8, 1015-1020. Conclusion According to the results, due to the use of biofertilizers, respectively, 51.43 and 42.86 percent of farmers had over 30% reduction in use of nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilizers. Chamangasht S, Ardakani M, Khavazi K, Abbaszadeh B, Mafakheri S. 2012. Improving Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) Growth and Yield by the Application of Bio-fertilizers. Annals of Biological Research 2012, 3 (4),1876-1879. Based on the results, lack of education and extension practices was considered as the important factor for non-usage bio-fertilizers for usage bio-fertilizers in the farming practices. The lack of knowledge of experts about bio-fertilizers was the second reason for non-adoption. Chupungco AR, Paunlagui MM. 2004. Socioeconomic Evaluation and Public Analysis of the Bio- N. Institute of Strategic Planning and Policy Studies (ISPPS) Working Paper No. 04-09, ISPPS, College of Public Affairs, University of the Philippines Los Banos. Farmers have opted using bio-fertilizers due to increase food security and accordingly, they ranked it as the first reason for selecting it over chemical pesticides. Similarly, the soil and water pollution could be very well reduced by this method and hence, Dobbelaere S, Croonenboghs A, Thys A, Ptacek D, Vanderleyden J. 2001. Responses of agronomically important crops to inoculation with Azospirillum. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 28, 871-879. 194 | Ommani and Noorivandi

J. Bio. & Env. Sci. 2014 Feder G, Just R, Zilberman D. 1985. Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey, Economic Development and Cultural Change 33, 255-298. FNCA. 2007. Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia. Bio-fertilizer Newsletter. Issue No. 7, February 2007. Kalaigandhi V, Kannapiran E, Harimuraleedharan MA, Sivakumar T, Arasu VT. 2010. Azotobacter population in rhizosphere and nonrhizosphere sediments of tondi coast. International Journal of Biological Technology 1(1), 63-65. Biofertilization and Urea Application, World Applied Sciences Journal 16 (9), 1239-1242, 2012 Kumari AL, Lakshmi GS. 2009. Survey of chilli growing areas in Guntur district for variations in input and yield levels, soil properties and microbial populations. Asian Journal of Social Sciences 4(2) 183-185. Mahfouz SA, Sharaf-Eldin MA. 2007 Effect of mineral vs. bio-fertilizer on growth, yield, and essential oil content of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) International Agrophysics 21 (4), 361-366. Kanimozhi K, Panneerselvam A. 2011. Investigation of soil characters and Azospirillum isolated frompaddy soils of Thanjavur district, East coast of Tamilnadu, India. Archives of Applied Science Research 3 (2), p525 Maurya BR, Kumar A, Raghuwanshi R, Singh V. 2012. Diversity of Azotobacter and Azospirillum in Rhizosphere of Different Crop Rotations in Eastern Uttar Pradesh of India. Research Journal of Microbiology, 7, 123-130. Katyal JC, Venkateswarulu B, Das SK. 1994. Bio-fertilizers for nutrient supplementation in dryland agriculture, Fertilizer News 39 (4), 27-32. Kherallah M, Minot N, Kachule R, Soule BG, Berry P, Gabre-Madhin EZ, Fafchamps M, Kahn Z. 2001. Impact of Agricultural Market Reforms on Smallholder Farmers in Benin and Malawi, International Food Policy Research Institute. A Collaborative Research Project between the International Food Policy Research Institute, the University of Hohenheim, and Collaborating African Institutions. Project Number 97.7860.6-001.00 Knepper ET. 2002. Factors Affecting The Use of Fertilizer by Small- and Medium-Sized Farming Households in Zambia, 1997 To 2000, A Thesis Submitted to Michigan State University in Partial Fulfillment of The Requirements for The Degree of Master of Science Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Kouchebagh SB, Mirshekari B, Farahvash F. 2012. Improvement of Corn Yield by Seed Nkonya E, Ted S, David N. 1997. Factors Affecting Adoption of Improved Maize Seed and Fertiliser in Norther Tanzania, Journal of Agricultural Economics 48 ( 1), 1-12. Ommani AR, Chizari M., Salmanzadeh C, Farj Allah Hossaini J. 2009.Predicting Adoption Behavior of Farmers Regarding On-Farm Sustainable Water Resources Management (SWRM): Comparison of Models. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 33, 595-616, 2009. Peng SH, Wan-Azha WM, Wong WZ., Go WZ., Chai EW, Chin KL, H`ng P.S. 2013. Effect of Using Agro-fertilizers and N-fixing Azotobacter Enhanced Bio-fertilizers on the Growth and Yield of Corn. Journal of Applied Sciences, 13, 508-512. Rahimi A, Mashayekhi K, Amini S, Soltani E. 2009. Effect of Mineral vs. Bio-fertilizer on the Growth, Yield and Essential Oil Content of Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.). Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Science and Biotechnology, 3 (2),1-3. 195 | Ommani and Noorivandi

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