Integration of manure and mineral fertilizers among smallholder farmers in Kenya: a pathway to sustainable soil fertility management and agricultural intensification (Published)
Combination of mineral fertilizers and manure has been proposed as the sustainable approach of soil fertility management. This study evaluates the use of these two soil fertility practices. Data for this study was obtained through a survey conducted between January-March 2019 with 106 farmers. Results show that the proportion of farmers who used manure and inorganic fertilizer was 93.4% in each case. About 90% of the farmers used both fertilizer and manure. Farmers accessed fertilizers mostly through direct purchase from the local market (73.9%). Most of the manure is obtained on-farm (84.8%). About 67% of farmers used fertilizer both for planting and top dressing. However, only 20% of the farmers used fertilizer every season. Low income, low literacy, lack of soil fertility management skills, small land sizes, low livestock units, limited and declining capacity of agricultural extension explain the low investment in soil fertility management. Timely delivery of low-cost, high quality fertilizer is of paramount concern. Glaring loopholes undermining the efficiency of the government subsidy program have to be addressed. Farmers’ capacity building is necessary to ensure high quality manure. Policy and institutional support are necessary to reverse the declining capacity of soil science research and agricultural extension.
Spatial Appraisal of Problems and Prospects of Fertilizer Use for Agriculture on the Environment in Mbieri, Mbaitoli Local Government Area, Imo State Nigeria. (Published)
This study appraises the spatial problems and prospects of fertilizer use in agriculture on the Environment in Mbieri, Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State. Structured questionnaires were sampled in the each villages randomly selected from the seven autonomous communities of Amaike-Mbieri, Awo Mbieri, Ezi-Mbieri, Ihitte Isi-Mbieri, Obazu Mbieri, Obi-Mbieri and Umueze-Mbieri for collection of data. The data were analysed using descriptive statistical tools of tables, charts and graphs. The outcome showed that 71.2% of the farmers do not have University Education. All the kinds of fertilizer in use in the study area contain Nitrogen with NPK 20-10-10 the most sought-after (35%). The major source of fertilizer in the study area is the open market while 54% of the farmers say they prefer the application of fertilizer NPK for replenishing lost soil nutrients. Finally, 60% of the Farmers in the study area use surface broadcast method in application of fertilizer NPK on their farms. However, some of this nitrogen compounds are washed down through surface runoffs causing pollution and eutrophication of the Ecosystems and water bodies. Government should set up research centre for Fertilizer use in Agriculture where farmers can be equipped with adequate knowledge of the best way to use fertilizer NPK while sustaining the environment.
Effects of different Levels of Compost Manure on Upland Rice and Soil Chemical Properties in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria (Published)
Field experiment evaluated effects of compost levels on growth and yield of upland rice, and soil chemical properties was carried out in Department of Agronomy Teaching and Research Farm, Delta State University, Asaba Campus in two cropping seasons. The compost was formulated with rice husk and cowdung at the ratio of 7:3, water was added during turning at weekly intervals for twelve weeks. It was applied at four levels: 0, 2.5, 5.0 and 10.0 t ha-1, while inorganic fertilizer was applied at 200 kg ha-1. The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design with four replicates. Parameters measured were plant height, number of leaves, total leaf area, plant girth, dry matter, rice yield and soil chemical properties were soil pH, organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus and exchangeable bases. Data were subjected to analysis of variance and means were separated with DMRT at 5% level of probability. The result shows that 10.0 t ha-1 of compost manure had highest plant height, plant girth, number of tillers, dry matter and rice yield at second season while the inorganic fertilizer had highest in all growth parameters in first season. All the levels improved the soil chemical properties than the inorganic fertilizer and 0 t ha-1. Therefore, 10.0 t ha-1 could be recommended for farmers in Asaba.