Soil Evangelization: Learning From School Cocoyam Project in Southeast Nigeria

Godwin CHUKWU, Tessy Ugo MADU

Abstract


Soil evangelization, an awareness campaign to attract youths to study soil science and address soil fertility challenges to sustainable crop production was extended to two primary and two secondary schools, respectively, in Southeast Nigeria, participating in school cocoyam project (SCP), under the aegis of cocoyam re-birth initiative of the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike. The aim was to develop the capacity of the youths for soil fertility recapitalization and very rapid multiplication of cocoyam. The approach involved participatory result demonstration of Gocken Rapid Multiplication Technology using micro cormels and micro setts of ≤ 7 g of cocoyam, planted on a 5 m x 4 m plot in each location at 50,000 plants/ha. Organic and inorganic fertilizers were applied. Results showed that there were 14.2. 50.0, 55.8, 48.5 and 58.3 % improvements in soil pH, total N, organic matter and exchangeable K, respectively, over the initial soil nutrient status. Total corm + cormel yields ranged from 14.5 – 19.7 t/ha. The highest significant (p = ≤ 0.05) yield (19.7 t/ha) was obtained at Okposi while the lowest yield (14.5 t/ha) was obtained at Abua Kingdom. Seed harvest multiplication ratio (SHMR) ranged from 25 – 35. It was concluded that the SCP is a proven strategy to promote soil evangelization and cocoyam production.

Keywords:

Cocoyam re-birth, crop production, soil evangelization, Youth.


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Agriculture and Forestry Journal (E-ISSN 2602-5795)

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