Guide To Fertilizer Use For Crops In Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

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About the Book

This book is a guide to fertilizer use on twenty-six crops grown in Akwa Ibom State and has application within the southeast agro-ecological zone of Nigeria. It highlights the general soil fertility characteristics of the State, the fertilizers commonly used, general methods of application and recommendations for individual crop. In each case, the book gives indication of the general method and time of application and deficiency symptoms associated with some of the nutrients. The authors have given some guide to yields of selected crops in Nigeria both at the level of the resource poor farmer and expected optima if best practices including fertilizer use are adopted.

The book is the first of its kind in guiding fertilizer use for crops in Akwa Ibom State. The publication of this book has been facilitated by funding from the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Uyo.

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Fertilizer is a very vital input for crop production and its cost represents a substantial proportion of the total cost of production. Fertilizer application is as important as improved seeds, disease and pest control and water availability for optimum crop yields.

The application of fertilizers in crop production is particularly important under impoverished, mined soils and low-inputs agro-production systems. Akwa Ibom State, like other parts of Tropical Africa, requires the application of fertilizers in appropriate quantities and qualities for optimum crop performance because most of the soils are low in native fertility and have gone through cycles of over-exploitation for food, fiber and non-agricultural uses.

Globally, Fertilizer Best Management Practices require sound knowledge of the conditions of the soils and the nutrient requirements of the crops to which they are applied. Fertilizers used must therefore, be professionally guided, monitored and appraised. In Nigeria, information on the suitability of fertilizers for different agro-ecological zones is scanty. In Akwa Ibom State, such information is completely lacking and fertilizer application to crops is largely based on blanket recommendations.

The publication of the manual “Guide To Fertilizer Use For Crops In Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria”, co-authored by Dr Trenchard Okon Ibia and Professor Eno Jombo Udo (Late) is therefore, very timely. Based on their deep knowledge of the theory of fertilizer use and practical field experience, the two highly rated soil scientists have provided this practical guide for effective and efficient use of fertilizers for crops in Akwa Ibom State. The publication is timely as it is capable of boosting the crop production programmes of the Akwa Ibom State Government, such as the tree crop development programme, Integrated Farmers Scheme, Fadama development programme, etc.

The Guide contains recommendations for twenty six crops covering cereals, legumes, roots and tubers, fruits, vegetables and tree crops. The Guide is not only a useful companion for farmers, but also for extension workers, students of Agronomy at all levels as well of teachers of the subject relating to soil and fertilizer use. The manual is presented in an “easy-to-adopt manner” for other States in the different agro-ecological zones of Nigeria and provides practical actions to guide fertilizer use at all times.

I commend Dr Ibia and Late Prof Udo for this invaluable contribution to the subject and the advancement of agriculture in Akwa Ibom State. It is my pleasure therefore, to recommend this Guide to farmers, extension workers and all other persons who have need to study or work with fertilizers, soil fertility and crop production using mineral fertilizers. This publication is indeed, a novel practical guide for fertilizer use and is highly commendable.

Prof Etok O Ekanem,
Hon. Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources
Akwa Ibom State. Nigeria
August, 2009.

Prof. Trenchard Ibia

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Trenchard Okon Ibia is a Professor of Soil Chemistry and Fertility in the Department of Soil science, University of Uyo, Nigeria. He has vast experience and exposure in teaching, research, consultancy and the public service. Prof Ibia served in the Akwa Ibom State Executive Council as Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources as well as overseeing the Ministry of Lands and Housing. He is a member of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria and a co-author of the publication “Manual of Soil, Plant and Water Analyses”.

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