Article Number: PRJA14812638


Vol. 2 Issue 2, pp: (21-35), July 2017.
Article Number: PRJA14812638
Copyright ©2017
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Full Length Research Paper

Recommending Fertilizers for Rice Production in the Inland Valley Swamps (IVS) of Selected Districts in Sierra Leone Using Soil Tests

Abdul R Conteh1, Dan D Quee2, Lansana Sesay3, and Ernest G Kamara4

1Soil Scientist, 2Weed Scientist, 3Extension Officer, and 4Seed Systems Specialist

Njala Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI), Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Corresponding author: Abdul R Conteh, Email: contehar@yahoo.com

 Received: May 19, 2017  Accepted: July 6, 2017  Published: August 4, 2017

ABSTRACT

There is currently a massive national drive to ensure that fertilizer becomes available to the country’s smallholder farmers as part of the government’s effort to boost up rice productivity in Sierra Leone.  This study was therefore carried out to provide necessary data that can be used to demonstrate the utilization of soil test results in recommending specific doses of fertilizer for improvement in rice production in the Inland Valley Swamps (IVS) in selected districts in Sierra Leone.  The activity covered discussions with farmers and soil sampling from IVS in 5 districts in Sierra Leone.  All the farmers agreed and emphasized that fertilizer is a vital yield-enhancing factor.  However, none of the farmers claimed to have received instructions on how fertilizers were to be applied to their swamps.  All of the farmers were aware that without proper water control, fertilizer application in IVS will be a waste of resources.  All soils in the IVS studied have pH values below 6.0 with low organic carbon contents.  Mean values for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium across all districts ranged from 0.16 to 0.20 %, 5.65 to 6.18 mg/kg, and 0.20 to 0.26 cmol (+)/kg, respectively .   Based on the soil test data for each of the sites sampled, P levels appear to be the most deficient of the primary nutrients in the IVS studied.  While 100 % of the sites showed that N is in the medium range, P levels for 90 % of the sites are in the low range and 65 % of the K levels are in the medium range.

Key words: Soil testing, Inland Valley Swamps, Rice, Fertilizer Recommendations