Optimizing use of integrated soil fertility management options for profitable groundnut production in Uganda
Mogaka, Hezron R.
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Soil fertility decline is a major constraint to groundnut production in Uganda. Whereas options exist to address this constraint, many have not been adopted by smallholder farmers. This study was designed to demonstrate the profitability of different integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) technologies in light of smallholder farmer conditions. On-farm experiments were set up in Mbale, Tororo and Bukedea districts of Uganda, with different inorganic fertilizer and farmyard manure (FYM) combinations and four groundnut varieties: Etesot, Red beauty, Serenut 2 and Serenut 3. Results revealed that under the ISFM options considered, Serenut 3 and Red beauty were the most profitable varieties. Serenut 3 and Red beauty posted positive gross margins for all treatments including the control. However, Serenut 2 posted negative gross margins across all treatments while Etesot had negative gross margins for the control and at 4.37 kg P ha-1plus FYM. The optimum combination of fertilizer occurred at8.73 kg P ha-1 for red beauty and 4.37 kg P ha-1+ 2 t FYM for Serenut 3, suggesting that blanket recommendations of ISFM interventions on groundnuts irrespective of variety, are not advisable owing to different varietal responses to ISFM interventions, different production costs and price of the groundnuts.