Item Details

Title: Fertiliser use: one of the keys to attaining and sustaining higher crop yields

Date Published: 2000
Author/s: Semalulu, 0 . and C.N. Butegwa
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
Copyright/patents/trade marks: National Agricultural Research Organisation
Journal Publisher: Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences
Affiliation: Soils and Soil Fertility Management Programme
Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute, P.O. Box 7065, Kampala, Uganda.
Keywords: Declining fertility; productivity; fertilizer use.


The fertility of Uganda soils is on the whole, declining. This is due to poor farming practices characterised by low
inputs use, among other fa ctors, and a generally poor fa rmers' response to soil conserva tion practices. Decrease in
ara ble land means that fa rmers can no longer afford long fa llow periods to restore/ma inta in soil fertility. With the
majority of Ugandan farming population predominantly r ural and practicing subsistence farming, there is need to
modernise agriculture in order to feed the rising population. Studies in Uganda and elsewhere have shown that soil
fertility and productivity can be maintained through use of inorganic fertilisers supplemented by organic materia ls. A
good fertiliser management programme is preceded by a n appropriately conducted soil test complemented with plant
tissue analysis and correlated with field crop response data to generate fertiliser recommendations. Wtlile a fertiliser
recommendation depends o n the level of soil fertility, the crop to be grown and the yield goal, fertiliser efficiency
depends on the characteristics of the fertiliser material, the timing and mode of application. Attaining and susta ining
higher crop yields are a collective challenge to farmers a nd scientists in the 21'' century.