Preparation of Rhizobium bacterial culture for enhancement of nodulation in Phaseolus Vulgaris l.
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Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is the most important grain legume in Uganda (Beebe et al., 2014). It is a widely consumed crop in Uganda where it was found out that over 80% of Ugandan households consumed beans over the seven day period recall in both rural and urban areas (Larochelle et al., 2016) and also widely used in schools around the country to feed children because of its high nutrition value. This is because it is a good source of protein e.g. globulin, albumin, glycoprotein and so on (Montoya et al., 2010). However, bean yields and soil quality have declined in Uganda over the past two decades (Bekunda et al., 2002), partly due to increased cropping intensity and lack of longer term bush fallow (Chianu et al., 2012). Bean production in Uganda is low due to numerous constraints including poor agronomic practices, soil infertility, lack of seed from improved cultivars, moisture stress, weed competition, and damage caused by pests and diseases (Sinclair & Vadez, 2012). Many farmers are currently looking for improved management systems to increase bean yields, however, there has been little research conducted on management systems that alleviate the aforementioned constraints. Fertilizer additions can overcome specific nutrient deficiencies, but fertilizers are expensive investments in sub-Saharan Africa, including rural Uganda, and most farmers use low levels or no fertilizer at all (Bekunda et al., 2002; Chianu et al., 2012) contributing to further nutrient depletion of soil. Common bean is generally considered to be a poor nitrogen fixer (Graham & Ranalli, 1997), but inoculation with appropriate Rhizobium species can increase grain yields I n East Africa (Maingi et al., 2001). High levels of nitrogen fixation have been documented when the crop is supplied with Rhizobium species and not limited by other constraints (Amijee & Giller, 1998; Giller et al., 1998; Hardarson et al., 1993). However, the usage of Rhizobium bio fertilizer in Uganda is limited by lack of information relating to its potential to enhance nodulation, thus increasing yield and growth of common beans. Bio fertilizers are preferred to chemical fertilizers because they are cheap and environmentally friendly. However, the bio fertilizer industry is underdeveloped in many African countries due to several challenges, thus the full adoption and benefits of bio fertilizer are yet to be fully realized compared to developed nations (Raimi, Roopnarain, & Adeleke, 2021). Furthermore, the public is unaware of the high potential of Rhizobium bacteria to enhance agricultural productivity in terms of sustainable soil management. In a market research report by Mordor intelligence, East African countries have a low demand of bio fertilizers due to lack of awareness. This has resulted in the poor development of the bio fertilizers sector, for example, Uganda Revenue Share on the Africa Bio fertilizers Market is 3% according to FAO, 2019. In addition, lack of awareness, infrastructure, skills and absence of supportive regulatory flamework in sub-Saharan Africa has negatively impacted the used of bio fertilizer (Masso et al., 2015). The aim of the research study is the production of cost effective Rhizobium bacteria bio fertilizer using a simple method that can be used for the enhancement of growth of Phaseolus vulgaris using baker’s yeast and molasses to meet increasing demand to increase crop yields by reducing use of chemical fertilizers to maintain ecological balance for sustainable production in minimum cost to increase percentage of proteins, vitamins, nitrogen containing products which helps to increase yield, physical and chemical profile of soil to evaluate the fertility status of soil.