African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

The efficacy of jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) seed cake as an organic fertilizer

Emmanuel C. Mbewe
  • Emmanuel C. Mbewe
  • Department of Crop and Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P. O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.
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Patson C. Nalivata
  • Patson C. Nalivata
  • Department of Crop and Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P. O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.
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Wlikson Makumba
  • Wlikson Makumba
  • Department of Agricultural Research Services, Chitedze Agricultural Research Station, P. O. Box 158, Lilongwe, Malawi.
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Venon H. Kabambe
  • Venon H. Kabambe
  • Department of Crop and Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P. O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.
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  •  Received: 22 October 2018
  •  Accepted: 29 November 2018
  •  Published: 20 December 2018

Abstract

Studies to evaluate the efficacy of Jatropha curcas L. (Jatropha) seed cake as an organic fertilizer were carried out at Bunda College of Agriculture during the 2010/2011 growing season using an on-station experiment. The major objective was to evaluate the efficacy of Jatropha seed cake as an organic fertiliser. The field experiment was laid in a 3 × 3 design with 3 levels of Jatropha (0, 92 and 184 kg N/ha corresponding to 0, 2875 and 5750 kg DM of Jatropha seed cake, respectively) and 3 levels of inorganic fertilizer (0, 23 and 46 kg N/ha). Field results showed that maize yields responded to the amount of Jatropha seed cake while inorganic fertilizer rate and the combination of Jatropha seed cake and inorganic fertilizer (at the same level of Jatropha seed cake) did not affect the grain yield of maize. The best performer in terms of grain yield was a treatment combination of 5750 kg/ha of Jatropha seed cake and 23 kg N/ha of inorganic fertilizer which produced a grain yield of 2483 kg/ha. However, this was comparable to 2331 kg/ha produced by the combination of 2785 kg/ha of Jatropha seed cake and 46 kg N/ha of inorganic fertilizer. The grain yield of sole Jatropha 5750 kg/ha was 2126 kg/ha. The grain yield of full rate of inorganic fertilizer (23:21:0+4S + urea) application was 2853 kg/ha. It can be concluded from this study that sole application of Jatropha seed cake has a potential of producing grain yield comparable to full rate inorganic fertlizer application. 

Key words: Jatropha seed cake, organic fertiliser, inorganic fertiliser.