Title : Plant Nutrition Balance, Soil Fertility and Economic Returns of Investments
Plant nutrition balance plays a major role in the universal need to increase food production to meet the demands of the growing world population. Fertilizer application resulted in marked crop yield increases, which for most crops were more than hundred. The extent to which fertilizers are used still differs considerably between various regions of the world. Soil nutrient status is widely constrained by the limited use of inorganic and organic fertilizers and by nutrient loss mainly due to erosion and leaching. Many small holder farmers do not have access to synthetic fertilizer because of high price of fertilizers, lack of credit facilities, poor distribution, and other socio-economic factors. Consequently, crop yields are low, in fact decreasing in many areas, and the sustainability of the current farming system is at risk.
Therefore, the aim of this review was to review the role of integrated Plant nutrition balance management for improving crop yield and enhancing soil fertility under small holder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, and recommend the appropriate approaches for enhancing soil fertility and increasing crop yield for small holder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
These are the key challenges of adoption in the scaling up of such alternative soil fertility management practices to millions of small-scale farmers. There is a need, therefore, for research and extension to sort out issues of adoption and scaling up of the available options.In order to address soil fertility problems, potential synergies can be gained by combining technical options with farmers’ knowledge as well as training of farmers and development agent on new soil fertility management approaches. So, the results of this review showed that, the integrated application of organic and inorganic fertilizers improve productivity of crops as well as the fertility status of the soil.
The reasons for this are many, which include access or availability of inputs, use of organic resources for other purposes in place of soil fertility, nutrient balancing, collecting, transporting and management of organic inputs and economic returns of investments.