EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT ORGANIC FERTILISER LEVELS ON THE GROWTH OF COFFEE SEEDLINGS IN THE NURSERY.
Coffee is a major foreign currency earner in Zimbabwe and also a source of employment to a large population in Zimbabwe. The coffee industry is facing challenges which are resulting in decrease in production. One of the reasons for this decline in production is lack of funds to maintain the coffee farms and re-plant coffee plants which are more productive for the old plants are now less productive. Also there is need to establishing new plants in-order to expand the area under cultivation. This gave rise to need of researching on the ways of overcoming the problem of lack of money to buy fertilizers needed for in the raising of coffee seedlings. Hence a research was done at Coffee Research Institute (CORI) in Chipinge in 2016 to investigate on the different fertilizer types (poultry, cattle, goat, sheep) at different levels (100 g, 250 g,500 g per planting pot 12 cm x 25 cm). The experiment was laid in a 3x4 Factorial arrangement in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). The variety used in the research was Catmor 129. The results obtained in the experiment indicated that there was interaction p<0.05 between level of application and the type of organic fertilizer used. An increase in application level of cattle, goat and sheep manure resulted in increased stem height however an increase in poultry manure from 250 g to 500 g did not result in increased stem height. An increase in level of application of all the fertilizer types poultry, cattle, goat and sheep manure resulted in an increase in stem girth, number of leaves, root length and dry matter accumulation in the seedlings. The fertilizers under investigation were compared with the standard thus the current fertilizer compound S 6-17-6 (NPK) and the control which was untreated soil. Compound S outperformed the organic fertilizers in stem height. Also at 100 g of all organic fertilizers compound S performed better in all growth parameters. At all application levels all the organic fertilizers performed better than the control (untreated soil). Basing on the research findings, farmers who cannot afford synthetic fertilizers can use poultry manure at an application rate of 500 g per planting pot.Open preprint
This article is a preprint and has not been peer reviewed