Effects Of NPK 15 15 15 On The Growth And Yield Of Red And White Amaranthus Caudatus
Amaranthus caudatus is a vegetable crop and belongs to the genus Amaranth. It is an underexploited plant with exceptional nutritive value (Downton, 1973). The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of artificial fertilizer (N.P.K 15:15:15) on the growth and yield of white and red species of Amaanthus cadatus. Field work was carried out on a plots of land measure 3x3m and was sub-divided into six row to the research revealed that white species, yielded better than the red species in federal polytechnic, Bali. It was recommended that farmers should be educated on the cultivation of both white and Red species. The research work will serve as a reference material for researchers who want to carry out research work on the same topic.
1.1 Background of the Study
Amaranth is an old cultivated crop originating from Latin America. is a vegetable crop and belongs to the genus Amaranthus. It is broad-leafed non-grass plant that produces significant amounts of edible cereal-Iike grains. Amaranth (family Amaranthaceae) is an underexploited plant with exceptional nutritive value (Downton, 1973). Many species of the genus Amaranthus are best known as opportunistic weeds which have a Iong history of use as leafy vegetables and are gathered as subsistence food in many parts of the world (Kauffman, 1992).
Amaranth is considered as underutilized crop and has, until recently, received little research attention. However, grain amaranth and many other Amaranthus species show tremendous potential for human consumption and other uses, and are particularly promising as a remedy for hunger and malnutrition in developing countries (NRC, 1984). Grain amaranth has a short growing time. Harvesting of leaves normally start just 4 weeks after planting while grains can be harvested at 60-90 days. The crop can be grown all year round and can be produced even on marginal soils. It requires 40-50% less moisture than maize and survives better than most crops under dry and hot conditions because of its extensive root system and use of C4 photosynthesis mechanism (Stallknecht et al. 1993).
Grain amaranth stores very well once well dried and is not easily infested by pests (Myers, 1996). It therefore does not require pesticide treatments.
It has potential to help address the problem of food insecurity. which has been aggravated by poor climatic conditions in recent years. It can also help to provide all year round income for small holder farmers. Its content of high quality protein and micronutrients, often lacking in diets of the resource poor populations, makes it a good commodity for lighting malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies among the poor.
Amaranthus caudatus is an important vegetable in human diet as a source of nutrients such as vitamin. minerals, sugar, protein and fiber needed for healthy body growth and sustenance. The young leaves and stems are boiled as greens (NRC, 1984). It is grown as soup vegetable or for boiled salad greens (Adeyemi et al., 1987). Amaranth seed is high in protein (15-18%) and contains respectable amounts of lysine and methionine, two essential amino acids that are not frequently found in other grains. Lysine plays a vital role in the treatment and prevention of a disease known as osteoporosis that makes bones prone to fracture (Pisarikova et al., 2005).
It is high in fiber and contains calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen and vitamins A and C The fiber content of amaranth is three times that of wheat and its iron content, five times more than wheat. It contains two times more calcium than milk. This leafy vegetable is also high in micronutrients. Using amaranth in combination with wheat, corn or brown rice results in a complete protein as high in food value as fish. red meat or poultry (Teutonico and Knorr, 1985).
Amaranth is one of the few plants whose leaves are eaten as a vegetable while the seeds are used in the same way as cereals and there is no distinct separation between the vegetable and grain type since the leaves of young grain type plants can be eaten by humans and livestock. Vegetable amaranth species are utilized for food in different parts of the World. Grain amaranth can be used as seeds or flour to make products such as cookies, cakes, pancakes, bread muffins, crackers, pasta and other bakery products (Teutonico and Knorr, 1985).
This plant is valued for chemical composition of seed that does not contain gluten which is a protein complex responsible for the elastic texture of dough and found in cereal grains like wheat, barley and rye. A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease (Crevel et al., 2006). As a result of production of amaranth with high yield will highly improve nutrition. But the fertility of the soil where it can be grown should be considered. The better the soil is fertile, the better the yield of amaranth.
Amaranth is a crop that can grow on poorer soils, and it can withstand drought and heat, early maturing, hardly attacked by pests, widely adaptable and above all nutritious and high yielding. ln southwestern Nigeria, under dry condition, seed yields from 1 to 6.7 tones/ha and green material of up to 70 tones are harvestable (Olaniyi, 2007). Thus a promising future crop, with potential to contribute to a substantial increase in food production due to large amount of biomass produced in a short period of time.
Although Amaranthus is known to be a relatively drought resistant crop, water reduces yield (Palada and Chang. 2003). When planted directly; Amaranthus seeds require well moistened soil to germinate. Even when transplanted as seedlings, water is required for establishment (NRC, 1984; Palada and Chang, 2003). After seedlings have established well, Amaranthus usually performs well even under limited water conditions.
This is because most species are able to maintain high Water Content (RWC), through factors such as stomatal conductance, maintenance of leaf area and biochemical factors such as enzyme function. including Photosynthesis and respiration (Spreeth at al.. 2004). Amaranthus is also known to be a low management crop that can grow in poor soils but studies have shown that its yields could be improved by application of fertilizers (Palada and Chang. 2003). Myers (1998) and Schippers (2000), reported that like any other crop, Amaranlhus responds well to good soil fertility and organic matter.
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), there are about 795 million undernourished people in 2015 (FAO, 2015). To apprehend the situation, interests have been centralized on the exploitation, quantification and utilization of food plants, especially vegetables (Dini et al., 2005). In spite of the integrated use of various soil fertility amendment input aimed at alleviating nutrient deficiency and improving their availability in soil reserves, crop and nutrient yield still fall short of their potential because of inadequate nutrient and chemical inputs, inappropriate quality of the organic materials and insufficient combination (Palmer et al., 1997).Various studies has been done on how fertilizer use affect the yield on different plants but fewer research is carried on their effects on growth performance, nutrient and composition in leafy vegetables especially spinach which is commonly consumed in this part of world. Furthermore, there are various fertilizers that have been shown to have effect on the yield of spinach in terms of growth. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the exact effect of (NPk) fertilizers on the growth and yield of Amaranthus caudatus.
1.3 Significant of the Study
After successful completion of this project, it will serve as a reference material for researchers who wants to carry out research work on the same topic, it will enlighten farmers on the application rate of artificial fertilizer (N.P.K 15:15:15) Amaranthus cadatus optimum yields.
1.4 Research Question
The following Research question were proferred to help ascertain the relevant conclusion to the study.
- Does fertilizer (N P K ) affect amaranthus growth?
- Does fertilizer affect amaranthus yield?
- Do the growth of amaranthus cultivars differ in their response to fertilizer?
- Does a different fertilizer concentration have different effect on amaranthus?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
- Fertilizer does not affect Amaranthus growth.
- Fertilizer does not affect Amaranthus yield.
- Amaranthus cultivars does not differ in their response to fertilizer.
- Different concentration of fertilizer does not have different effect on the growth and yield of Amaranthus species.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The scope of the study is basically to look into the effect of fertilizer on the growth and yield of Amaranthus Caudatus. The Short Time allocated and lack of finance are t the major constraints to this research work.
1.7 Specific Objectives
The specific objectives of this study are to determine:
- The effect of (N.P.K 15:15:15) on growth performance of Amaranthus species.
- The effect of N.P.K 15:15:15 on nutrient composition of Amaranthus species.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
The research on effects of N.P.K (15:15:15) Fertilizer application on the growth and yield of white and red species of Amaranthus caudatus. A case study of federal polytechnic Bali.
Field work was carried out on a plots of land measure 3x3m and was sub-divided into six row to the research revealed that white species of Amaranthus caudatus, yield more than red species.
In conclusion, it was discovered that, white species of Amaranthus caudatus yielded better than the red species in federal polytechnic Bali.
- It is recommended that farmers should be educated on the cultivation of both white and red species of Amaranthus caudatus.
- More research should also be carried out on the use of other fertilizers on the cultivation of Amaranthusu caudatus.
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