Evaluation of Selected Soil Fertility Parameters for Improvement of Fertilizer Recommendations in Zambia

The International Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Research, 2017

15 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2018

See all articles by Rasford Kalamatila

Rasford Kalamatila

University of Zambia (UNZA)

Obed I. Lungu

University of Zambia (UNZA)

Victor Shitumbanuma

University of Zambia (UNZA)

Aslihan Arslan

FAO of the UN (ESA); UC Davis - Agricultural and Resource Economics; Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

The fertilizer practice among smallholder farmers in Zambia is to apply the same amount of fertilizers to crops regardless of soil type and climatic conditions. The blanket fertilizer application across soil types and agroecological regions (AERs) is not efficient. In this study we evaluate the influence of soil type and climate on selected soil fertility parameters that are used to determine fertilizer recommendations. Samples of three different soil types were obtained from AER I and IIa and analyzed for selected soil fertility parameters using standard laboratory methods. Individual parameters were subjected to a two-way ANOVA to determine any differences among soil types and across AERs using the general linear model procedure. The soil variables showed that significant differences in soil fertility status exist among soil types and across AERs at various p values. The differences associated with soil types are more pronounced in soil chemical fertility parameters (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05), while differences associated with AERs are evident in the soil physical parameters (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001). The measured values of soil fertility parameters are categorized into different classes in terms of optimality, levels of adequacy and deficiency. Results of the study suggests that the current blanket fertilizer recommendation is inadequate because it does not take into account variations in the soil fertility status across soil types and AERs. Understanding how the soil fertility characteristics and their interaction with AERs influence soil fertility status is an important guide to more efficient fertilizer recommendations.

Keywords: soil fertility parameters; soil type; agroecological region

Suggested Citation

Kalamatila, Rasford and Lungu, Obed I. and Shitumbanuma, Victor and Arslan, Aslihan, Evaluation of Selected Soil Fertility Parameters for Improvement of Fertilizer Recommendations in Zambia (2017). The International Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Research, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3300007

Rasford Kalamatila

University of Zambia (UNZA) ( email )

Zambia

Obed I. Lungu

University of Zambia (UNZA) ( email )

Zambia

Victor Shitumbanuma

University of Zambia (UNZA)

Zambia

Aslihan Arslan (Contact Author)

FAO of the UN (ESA) ( email )

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Rome, Lazio 00100
ITALY

UC Davis - Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

One Shields Avenue
SS&H Building
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Kiel Institute for the World Economy ( email )

Duesternbrooker Weg 120
Kiel, Schleswig-Hosltein 24105
Germany

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