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International Journal Of Horticulture, Agriculture And Food Science(IJHAF)

Effect of Biochar Issued from Crop Wastes on the Yield of Variety 8034 Cassava in the Humid-Forest Agroecological Zone, Cameroon

Billa Samuel Fru , Tsi Evaristus Angwafo

International Journal of Horticulture, Agriculture and Food science(IJHAF), Vol-2,Issue-1, January - February 2018, Pages 13-27, 10.22161/ijhaf.2.1.2

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Cassava is an important food crop cultivated (75%) by smallholder farmers. However, yields are very low and rarely exceed 17tons/ha-1. A study was carried out at Nkolbisson in the humid forest zone (HFZ) of Cameroon to assess the effect of three types of biochar issued from Cassava (CSb), Ricehusk (RHb), and Corncob (CCb) on the root yield of variety 8034 cassava cultivated along a soil fertility gradient. The biochars were produced using an Elsa pyrolysis technology with carbonisation time of 50-58mins and temperature ranging from 400-650 0C. Twelve 8m2 plots were constructed in three sites from the higher elevated, moderately elevated and flat fields. The biochars were applied at 20t.ha-1in three replications in a completely randomized design. Results showed that the biochars were high in nutrients containing 4.17-18.15 g.kg-1 N, 22.26-42.51 mg.kg-1 P, 2.48-4.18 cmol.kg-1 K and pH (H2O: 7.78-10.81) and were significantly higher than the no-input soil containing 0.79 g.kg-1 N, 7.41 mg.kg-1 P, 1.42 cmol.kg-1 K and pH (5.68). Cassava root yield was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in RHb plots (23.22 t.ha-1) than CCb (20.53 t.ha-1), CSb (18.67 t.ha-1) and the no-input soil (16.13 t.ha-1). The addition of biochar particularly RHb, increased nutrient uptake in cassava leaves and roots compared with the no-input soil. The study concludes that biochars with higher N, P and K content tend to increase cassava root yield and suggests increasing the quantity of biochar to 40t/ha-1or continuous application in combination with other farming options such as poultry manure, compost or mineral fertilizer to maximize cassava productivity given the benefits of biochar.

Acidic soils; Biochar; Food security Improved cassava; Nitrogen; Pyrolysis technology

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