This research addresses two questions: Why is fertilizer not yet fulfilling its potential as a major stimulus to agricultural productivity in SSA? What can be done to improve the situation? Our answers are based on an extensive review of fertilizer response, profitability, and policy literature as well as some analysis of crop budgets and aggregate national statistics on fertilizer consumption. Much of the debate about fertilizer use in SSA focuses on two issues: whether the profit incentive is adequate and, if so, whether farmers have the capacity to access and use it.


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