Main Article Content
Hot pepper production is constrained by declining soil fertility and poor management practices in Assosa area, western Ethiopia. An experiment was conducted at Assosa Agricultural Research Center, during 2017/18 cropping season to evaluate different rates of blended fertilizers on agronomic performance and pod yield, and economic profitability of hot pepper production. The treatments included were: control, recommended NP, three rates for each NPSB and NPSBZn (100, 150, 200 kg ha-1) arranged in a randomized complete block design, with three replications. In the blends since N proportion was low, supplementary N was applied from Urea to optimize N needs of the crop. The result of the study revealed that the growth parameters (plant height and number of branches), yield components (number of pod per plant, pod length and width) and marketable pod yield were significantly (p<0.05) affected by fertilizer rates and types. The marketable dry pod yield was improved by 134.7% with the application of 150 kg NPSBZn + 44 kg ha-1 N as compared to the control. Moreover, this treatment generated the highest net benefit of 168,070 ETB ha-1 with 5365% marginal rate of return (MRR). Nevertheless, application of 100 kg NPSBZn + 29 kg N ha-1 had also resulted in 57% pod yield improvement, 8444% MRR, and net benefit of 138,316 ETB ha-1. In general, all blended fertilizer rates applied were superior over the recommended NP and the control implying that S, B and Zn added with blends might be deficient in Assosa area for crop production. Therefore, these two rates (150 kg NPSBZn + 44 kg N ha-1 and 100 kg NPSBZn + 29 kg N ha-1) can be recommended for profitable hot pepper production in Assosa area as an alternative for the poor and wealthy groups of farmers.