Characterization of Soil Nutrient Management and Post-harvest Handling Practices for Onion Production in the Central Rift Valley Region of Ethiopia
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Volume 2, Issue 5, October 2013, Pages: 184-195
Received: Jun. 21, 2013; Published: Sep. 20, 2013
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Negasi Tekeste A., Aksum University, College of Agriculture, P O Box 314, Shire, Ethiopia
Nigussie Dechassa R., Department of Plant Sciences, Haramaya University, P O Box 138, Dire-Dawa, Ethiopia
Kebede Woldetsadik, Department of Plant Sciences, Haramaya University, P O Box 138, Dire-Dawa, Ethiopia
Lemma Dessalegne, Melkassa Agricultural Research Centre, P O Box 2500, Adama, Ethiopia
Abuhay Takele, Melkassa Agricultural Research Centre, P O Box 2500, Adama, Ethiopia
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Onion is an important cash crop for smallholder farmers in the Central Rift Valley Region of Ethiopia. A survey was conducted during the off-season of 2011 to document nutrient management and post-harvest handling practices in onion production in four districts (Adama, Merti, Dugda Bora and Adamitulu-Jiddokombolcha) in the region. Data were collected from 128 farmers using a standard questionnaire and focus group discussions. The results revealed that all of the sampled smallholder onion growing farmers used Diammonium phosphate (DAP) and urea whilst only 10.9% and 5.5% used farmyard manure (FYM) and compost, respectively. The growers on average used 298.8 kg ha-1 Urea and 299.21 kg DAP ha-1. Only small amounts of farmyard manure (1.71 t ha-1) and compost (1.56 t ha-1) were applied by the onion growers. The data also showed that farmers did not practise curing and storing of onion bulbs, and sold the produce on the field during harvest at farm-gate prices. In conclusion, the results of the study revealed that farmers in the region produce onions with application of higher rates of inorganic mineral NP fertilizers than the rates commonly recommended by the research system. The results also showed that the farmers did not subject harvested onion bulbs to any post-harvest management practices for enhancing shelf-life and marketability of the crop.
Inorganic Fertilizers, Farmyard Manure, Organic Fertilizer, Soil Fertility Management
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Negasi Tekeste A., Nigussie Dechassa R., Kebede Woldetsadik, Lemma Dessalegne, Abuhay Takele, Characterization of Soil Nutrient Management and Post-harvest Handling Practices for Onion Production in the Central Rift Valley Region of Ethiopia, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Vol. 2, No. 5, 2013, pp. 184-195. doi: 10.11648/j.aff.20130205.12
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