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Title: Assessing the potential benefits of organic and mineral fertiliser combinations on maize and legume productivity under smallholder management in Zimbabwe
Authors: Kanonge, G
Nezomba, H
Chikowo, R
Mtambanengwe, F
Mapfumo, P
Date: 2009
Publisher: African Crop Science Society
Citation: Kanonge, G., Nezomba, H., Chikowo, R., Mtambanengwe, F., & Mapfumo, P. (2009). Assessing the potential benefits of organic and mineral fertiliser combinations on maize and legume productivity under smallholder management in Zimbabwe. Proceedings from the African Crop Science Conference. African Crop Science Society, 9: 63-70.
Abstract: Low inherent soil fertility status coupled with little or no external nutrient inputs have contributed to rapid soil nutrient depletion and low maize yields that rarely exceed 1 t ha-1 in Southern Africa, threatening household food security. A study was initiated in the 2008/09 season to determine the effects of combined application of basal P- containing fertilisers and locally available organic nutrient sources on productivity of cowpea and soybean on smallholder farms. An evaluation of how cowpea productivity can be influenced by farmer management and resource endowment, in a market oriented production system was also done. Vigna unguiculata, Glycine max, Crotalaria juncea and selected indigenous legumes of the genera Crotalaria, Tephrosia and Indigofera were grown using combinations of traditional Compound D (N: 7%, P2O5: 14%, K2O: 7%) and a PKS (P2O5: 32%, K2O: 16%, S: 5%) basal fertiliser formulation, with either cattle manure or leaf litter. Legume biomass sampled at 50% flowering was in the range of 0.8 – 3.9 t ha-1, the maximum being for basal D combined with cattle manure. There were no significant differences between treatments at a site which had < 0.5% organic carbon. Cowpea grain yield from resource endowed farmers was significantly different to the other farmer resource groups, but averaged only 0.9 t ha-1. At the site which became waterlogged sunnhemp contributed only 9 kg N ha-1, but at other sites the green manure species contributed N ranging from 54 – 133 kg ha-1. Overall, legume productivity and N contribution increased with P application and the maximum was recorded when nutrient sources where combined, despite the superior performance of D combined with either manure or litter, over PKS combinations. We concluded that grain legume yields can hardly exceed 1 t ha-1, without external nutrients, on sandy soils with low organic matter thus combining locally available resources and mineral P- fertilisers can be a better option to boost productivity of N2-fixing legumes.
Project Number: 104140
Project Title: Resilience and the African Smallholder : Enhancing the Capacity of Communities to Adapt to Climate Change
Access: IDRC Only
Access Restriction: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this research output is not available in the IDRC Digital Library or by request from the IDRC Library. / Compte tenu des restrictions relatives au droit d`auteur, le texte intégral de cet extrant de recherche n`est pas accessible dans la Bibliothèque numérique du CRDI, et il n`est pas possible d`en faire la demande à la Bibliothèque du CRDI.
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