The Effect Rate Of Fertilizer Application On Vegetable (Telfairia Occidentalis)

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Engineering AE

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Engineering AE


Field trials were conducted at the Imopoly farmFarm, Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo in 2014 to determine the effect rate of fertilizer application on vegetable (telfairiaoccidentalis). The treatments involved nine fertilizer types namely; Aleshinloye grade A, Aleshinloye grade B, Sunshine grade A, Sunshine grade B, Pace setter grade A, Pace setter grade B, Neem compost,. Fluted pumpkin served as the test crop. The fertilizer types were applied at two levels each (0 and 60 kg. N ha-1). The treatments were assigned into a randomized complete block design with three replicates. Data were collected on growth parameters, nutritional composition and yield attributes of fluted pumpkin. The parameters assessed were significantly influenced (P<0.05) by the applied fertilizer types. The highest vine length, number of leaves, nutritional composition, fresh shoots and seed yields were recorded at 60 kg. N ha,-1 irrespective of the fertilizer types.

Although, the best performance of fluted pumpkin in terms of growth and fresh shoot yield were obtained from neem compost fertilizer type, this was comparable with results obtained with tithonia compost. The highest P (0.83%), K (0.82%), Mg (3.20%), Ca (0.48%), Fe (4.63%) and protein (4.60 mg/kg) contents of fluted pumpkin shoot were obtained from the plants under poultry manure treatment while plants receiving no fertilizer application recorded the least values for all nutritional attributes assessed. Neem compost (86.1 kg/ha) closely followed by tithonia compost (62.7 kg/ha) gave highest seed yield of fluted pumpkin as compared to other fertilizer types. Although, neem compost and poultry manure gave the best performance in terms of yield and nutritional composition respectively, there is no significant difference between the values obtained from these treatments and that recorded from tithonia compost. In conclusion, the growth, nutritional composition and yield of fluted pumpkin were improved by fertilizer types.

Chapter One

1.1 Introduction

In Africa indigenous vegetables remain popular in rural areas where they are often considered to be more nutritive than exotic vegetables. Telfairiaoccidentalis commonly called fluted pumpkin is an important leaf and seed vegetable indigenous to Southern Nigeria and grown in the forest zone of west and central Africa (Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone being the major producers). It probably originated in south east Nigeria and distributed by Igbos who have been cultivated this crop since time immemorial.

The leaf is of high nutritional, medicinal and industrial values rich in protein (29%), fat (18%) and minerals and vitamins (20%).The nutritional value of pumpkin seeds is different from that of leaves. The protein contents of seeds and leaves are 20.5g and 2.9g, respectively [5]. Seeds have high nutritive and calorific values which make it necessary in diets. Fluted pumpkin is of local ethnobotanical importance in the folklore, dietary and cropping systems of Igbos. The level of iron is the factor for use of the leaf extraction as blood tonic which can be administered to weak patient.

Nitrogen is usually ascribed with the building up of leaf tissues. This is one of the essential elements most commonly used to increase crop yield. It is a constituent of all protein and chlorophyll. Plant tissue, usually contains more nitrogen than any other nutrients. Nitrogen application is used to produce rapid vegetative growth of vegetables. It promotes luxuriant growth, and increases number of leaves. These encourage photosynthesis and partitioning of photosynthesis rate into the economic parts of the plant. It is also necessary for reproduction and promotes the uptake of phosphorus and potassium by plants. However, nitrogen requirement for vegetable is 50kg N/ha or more in savannah zone of Nigeria [8]. It has been reported that 100kg N/ha is suitable for vegetable based on dual purposes (leaf+ fruit). The recommended rate for the production of fluted pumpkin is 16okgN/ha.

In Nigeria, farmers realize the need for soil amendments by using available resources such as crop wastes, farmyard manure and poultry waste [10]. The use of organic fertilizer as source of nutrients to crops has recently received comprehensive review by Awodun,;Akanbi et al. and Ojetayo et al.. This fertilizer type improves soil’s physical, chemical and biological conditions, which in turns improve crop growing environment and culminate in the better production of economic plant parts.

Organic fertilizer fortified with inorganic materials specially formulated to replenish the soil and improve plant fertilization. It releases nutrients in soil in the form that plants can easily absorb, it will activate soil micro-organism and increase microbes, which will help decomposition process of organic matter and transform them into nutrients that plants can easily absorb. This will promote higher plant growth, healthier crops and better fruit yield. It reduces the needs of chemical fertilizer, which will lead to lower production cost and indirectly increases income. Organic crops contained higher levels of 21 essential nutrients than their conventionally grown counter parts including iron, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin c. The organic crops also contained lower levels of nitrates, which can be toxic to body.

Although, many research activities have reported better performance of crops with fertilizer application one of the method through which plants would display its potential genetic capability is by supplying the plants with adequate amount and types of fertilizer at the right time. Research efforts are therefore required to recommend fertilizer types for sustainable production of Telfairiaoccidentalisin Umuagwo, the Guinea Savanna zone of south west Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

According to Jariene, the seeds contain about 50% fats, approximately 30% protein, sugar, B vitamins, ascorbic acid, Phytosteroles, Phytin, lecithin, oxycerotine, tyrosine, salicylic acid, and resins. The seed oil is also rich in glycerides of linoleic, oleinic, palmitin, and stearine acids. Omega-3 fatty acid was found to be present in pumpkin seeds; it helps to prevent artheriosclerosis, high blood pressure, and heart diseases; it also stimulates metabolism of accumulated fats. Oil-cake fats from pumpkin seeds contain large amounts of (almost 60%) of omega-3 acids twice that of cod liver oil. Pumpkin seed powder is used in China and the United States as an ingredient of salad dressings and in baked products. The seed oil is used as salad oil in Europe, and in India for cooking and lighting. The seed is used medicinally in the prevention of kidney stones. Seeds are eaten as an anthelmintic. In Mauritius an infusion of the seeds is used internally to treat hypertension and prostate complaints and externally to treat erysipelas.

Seeds form a major part of the diet of Nigerians; They are consumed as a meal as well as ingredients of local soups. In southwestern Nigeria, pumpkin seeds are used locally as an alternative to “egusi” melon (Citrullus vulgaris Schrad) seed. Melon seeds are milled and used to prepare the popular “egusi” soup where they act as food thickeners. Pumpkin seeds are used alone or in combination with leafy vegetable.

1.2 Objective of Study

Main Objective

  • The effect rate of fertilizer application on vegetable (telfairiaoccidentalis)

Specific Objective

  • To examine the chemical component of fertilizer
  • To study the nutritional effect of fertilizer in telfairiaoccidentalis

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.0 Summary

Fluted pumpkin Telfairiaoccidentalis Hook F is one of the most important vegetables grown among the Igbo people in Southeastern Nigeria. It is gaining recognition in other parts of Nigeria especially in the North central states. It is generally regarded as a leaf and seed vegetable. The leaf has a high nutritional, medicinal and industrial values being rich in protein 29%, fat 18%, minerals and vitamins 20% [1]. Apart from the leaves, the seeds can be cooked /roasted and eaten, or ground and added in soup. The vegetable contained 20.5g proteins, 45g fat, 23g carbohydrate, 2.2g fibre and 4.8g total ash [2]. The oil in the seeds is useful in soap making and in cooking [3]. In the recent time, fluted pumpkin had gained medicinal recognition. It has been discovered to be blood purifiers [4] and could therefore be useful in maintenance of good health.

Despite the importance of fluted pumpkins in Nigerian diet, farmers are facing a lot of challenges concerning its production; especially on the soils of guinea savannah agroecological zones. Rapid depletion of soil nutrients and poor physical condition of thesavanna soils which constitute a strong limitations to crop production. Also, soil fertility depletion in small holder farm is the fundamental cause of declining per capita food production. Therefore, these soils must be supplemented with adequate macronutrients in other to keep them productive. The shortage and high cost of inorganic fertilizers have limited their use for crop production among the peasant farmers in Nigeria. Also, chemical fertilizers alone generate several deleterious effects to the environment and human health and they should be replenished in every cultivation. This is because; the synthetic fertilizer is rapidly lost by either evaporation or by leaching in drainage water and it causes dangerous environmental pollution. Continuous usage of inorganic fertilizer affects soil structure. Hence, organic manures can serve as alternative to mineral fertilizers for improving soil structure. Therefore, there is the need for increased dependence on the use of organic waste such as farmyard manure, crop residues and poultry manure for crop production. In fact, poultry manure has been adjudged to be the most valuable of all manures produced by livestock. Moreover, the nutrient contents of poultry manure are among the highest of all animal manures, and the use of it as soil amendment for agricultural crops will provide appreciable quantities of all the major plant nutrients.

5.1 Conclusion

Organic fertilizer application is very essential for plant growth and yield, as it contained essential plant nutrients. The required amount of nitrogen fertilizer varies due to the type of crop, instability of crop and crop combination. The yield and yield components of telfairia were significantly increased by the applied organic fertilizer types. The optimum values were recorded at 60 kg N ha. The highest yield and yield components of telfairia was recorded from neam organic fertilizer closely followed by tithonia compost while control gave the least value. The distribution of protein and other minerals in the plant part of the fluted pumpkin (Telfairiaoccidentalis) was highly influenced by the applied amendments. Poultry manure closely followed by tithonia compost gave high nutritional values of telfairia as compared to other organic fertilizers. Although, neem organic fertilizer and poultry manure gave the best performance in term of yield and nutritional compositions respectively, there are no significant different between the values obtained from these treatments and that recorded from tithonia compost. Therefore, neem compost, poultry manure and tithonia compost in descending order are adjudged as the best organic fertilizers for farmers because they are cheap and readily available.

5.3 Recommendation

From this study, it can be concluded that 40kg/ha fertilizer could be the optimal fertilizer level for a good growth and environmentally friendly production of fluted pumpkin in North central agroecological zone of central Nigeria. However, further locational trials should be conducted within the zone to confirm this result.

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