Impact of Banana peel-based fertilizers on Maize performance
Nabukeera, Kevin Cissy
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This study was conducted to evaluate the impact of banana peel-based fertilizers on maize performance. Banana peels are a rich source of nutrients especially potassium. These nutrients are essential for proper growth performance of plants. In Uganda, banana peels are abundant due to banana being a major staple food for many people and is cultivated almost in all parts of the country. Four varieties of banana were used in the study; two dessert bananas ('bogoya' and ‘sukali ndizi’), these give the yellow peels and two cooking banana ('nakitembe' and 'kibuzi'), these give the green peels. The peels were dried and added as a fertilizer in a powdered form. Maize forms a large part of the daily meals and is consumed in several forms such as posho, porridge, roasted and boiled, and the cobs are a source of poultry feeds. Maize's proper growth performance occurs at a pH between 5.6 and 7, thus despite the presence of nutrients in the soil, the pH must be suitable for the better maize growth. The yellow banana peels have less fiber hence decompose faster making nutrients readily available to maize roots and cause a slightly acidic pH while the green ones have more fiber thus have a longer decomposition period and cause an alkaline pH which makes nutrients complex in the soil. The maize that was grown in soil treated with yellow banana peel-based fertilizers formed more leaves and was taller compared to that which grew in soil treated with green banana peel-based fertilizers. 'Bogoya' gave the best performance of maize of the four varieties used. In conclusion, farmers should include the yellow banana peels and mix them with the green ones for better effectiveness of the banana peel-based fertilizers.