The effectiveness of bio-fertilizer on the growth of Amaranthus crentus (bbugga) ferrasol in Central Uganda.
Achar, Didi Peace
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Food security is one of the major issues affecting livelihoods of Ugandans in terms of nutrition and cost of production in this COVID-19 era. The most appropriate ways of counterattacking food insecurity is through the holistic approach where every household in their capacities are involved. This can be done through production of all season crops like vegetables other than depending on only cereals. Nonetheless, Uganda's poor soils are of a hindrance to achieving this goal which therefore calls in the need for fertilization. Of late, there has been a surgence of soil and water pollution brought about my mineral fertilizers together with their market unavailability and high costs rendering them a heavy blow in agriculture. This has therefore called for use of organic fertilizers like farmyard manure, green manure, bio-fertilizers among others however to their disadvantage, organic fertilizers have low nutrient concentration hence there are needed in bulk to meet the nutrient requirement of these vegetables. Therefore, the ministry of agriculture is promoting integrated use of organic fertilizers with the mineral fertilizers. To the farmers' mayhem, they do not understand the rates to use for both the inorganic and organic fertilizers to improve vegetable yields. Therefore, this study was meant to evaluate the growth responses of amaranth to two different rates of sole bio-fertilizer (BF) and combined bio-fertilizer and NPK. The study was carried in MUARIK ferralsols from November 2020 to January 2021. On analysis of the bio-fertiliser, it was slightly alkaline (pH = 8.61), high organic carbon (21%) content, moderate total N, P, and K (5.56%) and low calcium concentration (0.054%). The study was carried out under Complete Randomized Design (CRD) with 3blocks, 5 treatments and 3 replicates, control (T1), bio-fertilizer at 10tha-1 , T2 bio-fertilizer at 5tha- 1(T3), bio-fertilizer plus NPK at 10tha-1 /167kgha-1 (T4) and bio-fertilizer plus NPK at 5tha-1 /83.5kgha-1 (T5). The sole application of the bio-fertiliser at 10t/ha produced averagely better response results on the amaranth growth parameters than all other treatments with integrated bio-fertiliser and NPK at 10t/ha and 167kg/ha, respectively producing no significant (P>0.05) different response from the latter treatment. With application of sole bio-fertiliser at 10t/ha producing the best results, it is thus concluded as the best application rate for production of amaranth while further indicates that biofertiliser can work solely and one doesn't necessarily need to integrate it with other inorganic fertilizers as it has greatly showed positive changes in the plant growth parameters investigated. Application of sole bio-fertiliser at 10t/ha produces the maximum positive effect on the development of amaranth.