Soil and water conservation techniques and integrated soil fertility management enhances growth and yield of tomato in double dug beds of Muarik Central Uganda
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Low crop yields due to low erratic rainfall, high evapo-transpiration, and deteriorating soil fertility in semi-arid areas of the country, have led to a quest for sustainable production practices with greater resource use efficiency in order alleviate water stress, soil fertility decline and, water harvesting technologies and integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) are alternative promising options whose impact on agricultural productivity are not yet clear. The study therefore aimed to assess the effect of using double dug beds (SWC) in combination with Vermicompost and NPK fertilizer amendment’s on tomato (Lycopersiconesculentum Mill) production. An experiment was carried out at MUARIK from February, 2019 to May, 2019. The experiment was set up in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with (6 blocks*4 beds), with 2 replications and 4 treatments. The treatments were T1-Control, T2- NPK 100%(150: 60:100 kgha-1 ), T3- VC 50% +NPK 50% (5 t/ha) and T4 –VC (10 t/ha) The response on growth and yield on tomato were positively and significantly influenced by the application of vermicompost with recommended dose of NPK and also SWC techniques, where tomatoes planted in the DDBP obtained the highest growth and yield, followed by DDBWP and DDBC, in all SWC techniques growth and yield parameters were significant. The findings revealed that SWC techniques and treatment T3- 50%NPK+VC50%(5 t/ha) in DDBP was found superior in terms of plant height-1, Leaf area-1, Number of flower plan-1 as compared to a control and yield parameters like maximum number of fruits plant-1 and fruit weight plant-1, the maximum yield (fruit weight) of tomato (73.75g) in DDBP was obtained from treatment T3- 50 % VC+NPK 50 % (5 t/ha), and lowest yield (fruit weight) of tomato obtained in treatment T2 in (19.13g) in DDBC, therefore T3- 50 % VC+NPK 50% (5t/ha) in DDBP was more sustainable and profitable.