International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

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Dissertation Chapters | Agronomy | Kenya | Volume 3 Issue 11, November 2014

Challenges of Soil Health Management by Small-Holder Farmers in Western Kenya: The C:N (Carbon: Nitrogen) Ratio Context in Composting

Enos G. Okolo [2] | Dr. Benard O. Abongo

Abstract: The project was conceived from the premise that there is a need to assist the Kenyan peasant farmers who at the moment do not use any soil fertility intervention measures, with the result that their soils are tired, and the yields cannot sustain them resulting in food insecurity. It is now known from the available literature that the composting cycle can be reduced from the current 3-6 months to a much shorter time. What makes this possible is an inoculant made up of some soil inhabiting microbes. What is also known is that for the microbes to reduce the compost maturity time, the Carbon: Nitrogen ratio is important, so the first investigation was to provide an answer to the question: By using a composting recipe with a set C: N ratio between 2530: 1, can the maturity time of the compost be reduced, even if an inoculant is not added, and if so what would the maturity time in days be, compared to where an inoculant is used The project therefore started by carrying out substrate chemical analysis to determine their total dry matter content. From such results the project narrowed down to analysis of Carbon and Nitrogen contents, then calculate the C: N ratios of the substrates, and developed a composting recipe for each major substrate, including sugarcane bagasse which is abundant in the project area. From the efficacy tests it was found that by using the desired C: N ratio of between 25-30, the composting maturity time was considerably reduced.

Keywords: Carbon Nitrogen Ratio CN Ratio, Soil Health, Agricultural Substrates, Composting recipes, compost maturity

Edition: Volume 3 Issue 11, November 2014,

Pages: 877 - 883

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