Impact of the application of different improved materials on soil structure and rice yield in Ghana
Jacob Aidoo Mills 1, Kojo Nunoo2, Jackson Fordjour Okyem3
1Rural Education and Agriculture Development International, Ghana
At present, farmers in some regions in Ghana are facing the problems of fragile ecological conditions, decreasing arable land area, lack of arable land reserve resources, and intensifying human-land conflicts. There is a high level of rural-urban migration as a result of the continuous deterioration of farming lands and soil deterioration. In recent times the physical structure and soil fertility of farming lands are seriously damaged, which limits the land productivity and sustainable development of new arable land. In order to address this soil problem of poor structure and low fertility and to improve soil quality, a two-year field experiment was conducted in Ashanti Region. In this experiment, the following four treatments were applied: no modified material, maturing agent, fly ash and organic fertiliser and the effects of different improved materials on soil properties and crop yield were studied. Findings from the study revealed that: there was a significant increase in soil organic matter and total nitrogen contents after the application of the different improved materials, thus increasing the water holding capacity stability of the soils by micro aggregates (< 0.25 mm). In the 0–0.20 m soil layer, the proportion of water-stable macroaggregates under maturing agent, fly ash and organic fertiliser increased by 355.2%, 210.0%, and 107.8%, compared with no modified material respectively. Among the four different improved material treatments, the organic-inorganic coupling treatment of fly ash and organic fertiliser was the most suitable way for the improvement of reclaimed soil, and it can effectively increase soil organic matter, total nitrogen, soil moisture and water-stable macroaggregates contents and enhance the structural stability and erosion resistance of the soils in the Ashanti Region, thereby improving the soil fertility in Ghana.
Keywords: Ghana, maize, organic matter, soil
Contact Address: Jacob Aidoo Mills , Rural Education and Agriculture Development International, Box up1429 knust knust kumasi, 233 Kumasi, Ghana, e-mail: mensahmills2020gmail.com