Utilisation of cattle manure and inorganic fertiliser for food production in central Uganda

Innocent Muhereza, Deborah Pritchard, Roy Murray-Prior

Abstract


Fertiliser use in small-holder peri-urban crop-livestock farms in Uganda was investigated by conducting a socio-economic survey of 40 farms in the central districts of Wakiso and Kampala where cattle manure is commonly applied to address the issue of declining crop yields. The major benefits obtained from cattle manure application were increased yields and low cost, while negative effects were poor hygienic conditions and bad odour. The challenges associated with the use of cattle manure included its weight and bulkiness, lack of labour, insufficient quantities, high transportation and application costs, lack of storage facilities to maintain quality attributes of manure and the incidence of chaffer grubs and worms; a nuisance during application which affected crop growth. The survey indicated that of the farmers using cattle manure, only 5% also supplemented with inorganic fertilisers. Other animal manures applied included poultry, pig, goat and rabbit where available. The nutrient content of cattle manure was generally low, as a result of livestock diet and storage. There was little education available to farmers as to optimum strategies and rates of fertiliser (including both inorganic and organic fertilisers) to improve crop yield and this needed addressing to improve food security and economic development in Uganda.
Keywords: cattle manure; fertiliser; urea

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12895/jaeid.20142.214