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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Effectiveness of crop-waste compost on a Eutric Ferralsol

Ledin, Stig; Otabbong, Erasmus; Amoding, Alice; Tenywa, John Stephen


Lack of environmentally safe handling of garbage is a growing problem in urban sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Composting the garbage for soil-fertility management presents an opportunity for reducing the risks of environmental pollution. This study aimed at evaluating the agronomic effectiveness and nutrient-utilization efficiency of urban market crop-waste compost on a Eutric Ferralsol. The study was conducted in central Uganda with treatments including compost applied at 0, 5, and 10 t ha(-1) (d. w. basis); inorganic N fertilizer at rates of 0, 40, and 80 kg ha(-1) and inorganic P fertilizer at 0, 9, and 18 kg ha(-1). Maize (Zea mays L.), variety Longe 4 was used as the test crop. The nutrient quality of the compost was medium with total N of 0.9% and total P of 0.45%. Compost significantly increased plant height, LAI, stover weight, and grain yield; however, there were no significant differences between the 5 and 10 t ha(-1) rates. Nitrogen also had a significant effect on LAI and stover yield, though there was no significant difference between the 40 and 80 kg ha(-1) rates. Likewise, P increased plant height with no significant difference between the 9 and 18 kg ha(-1) rates. Mineral N at 40 kg ha(-1) led to the highest increase in N uptake by plants (76%) above the control. Nitrogen-and P-utilization efficiencies for the 5 t ha(-1) compost rate were more than twice that of the 10 t ha(-1) rate. The highest P-utilization efficiency (69%) was obtained where 9 kg ha(-1) P was applied with 40 kg ha(-1) N, while the highest N-utilization efficiency (48%) was obtained with the 5 t ha(-1) compost applied together with N at 40 kg ha(-1). From the above studies, it is clear that effectiveness of the 5 t ha(-1) compost rate is the most promising.


nitrogen; phosphorus; nutrient-utilization efficiency; uptake; sub-Saharan agriculture

Published in

Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
2011, Volume: 174, number: 3, pages: 430-436

    SLU Authors

    • Ledin, Stig

      • Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Otabbong, Erasmus

        • Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Agricultural Science
      Soil Science

      Publication Identifiers


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