Microfertilizing, consisting of applying small amounts of mineral fertilizer to the planting hole or pocket, was tested in Mali. Yields of sorghum increased by 34% and 52% compared with the control after applying 0.3 g of fertilizer per pocket for the years 2000 and 2001 respectively. For pearl millet, the corresponding yield increase was 48% and 67% for 2001 and 2003 respectively.
Higher yield increases were observed when 6 g of fertilizer was applied per pocket than when 0.3 g of fertilizer was applied. The value–cost ratio varied from 3.4 to 11.9 in the 0.3 g treatment, and from 0.43 to 1.17 in the 6 g treatment. Application of 0.3 g of fertilizer appeals to farmers because of the good return on investment, low financial risk, low cash outlay and low workload required.