Evaluation of the combined use of organic and inorganic fertilizers on bulb onion (Allium cepa L.) yields in West Ugenya Sub-County, Kenya

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Research Paper 01/03/2018
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Evaluation of the combined use of organic and inorganic fertilizers on bulb onion (Allium cepa L.) yields in West Ugenya Sub-County, Kenya

Benedict Mbindah, George Karuku, Charles Gachene
Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.12( 3), 52-64, March 2018.
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Low yields due to declining soil fertility continue to be a major constraint to onion production in Kenya, necessitating imports to meet market demand. A field experiment was carried out for two seasons in West Ugenya Sub-County during the 2015 and 2016 short and long rains seasons, respectively to evaluate the effect of combining organic and inorganic fertilizers on the soil nutrient status, growing period and yield of bulb onion (Allium cepa L.). The experiment was a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). Treatments, each replicated three times were: T1 (5Mega grams ha-1 cattle manure), T2 (46kg P ha-1 x 26kg N ha-1 inorganic fertilizers), T3 (unfertilized control), and T4 (half T1 x half T2) were evaluated. Data from T1 and T4 at the end of the two growing seasons showed significantly (P≤0.05) higher mean yields compared to the control with highest bulb yield (25.2Mg ha-1) recorded in T4. Also, significantly (P≤0.05) higher soil available P and total organic carbon was recorded in T4 at the end of season II compared to the other treatments in the same season. Seasonal variation in rainfall amount led to considerably lower yields in the short rains (season II), compared to long rains (season I). Observed data concluded that onion yields could be significantly increased by combining organic and inorganic fertilizers at the rates of 2.5Mgha1 cattle manure containing 2% N, 0.6% P and 2.3% K, with 23kg P ha-1 x 13kg N ha1 inorganic fertilizers.


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