Evaluation of sawah rice management system in an inland valley in southeastern Nigeria. I: Soil chemical properties and rice yield
Paddy and Water Environment
Department of Soil Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Faculty of Agriculture, Kinki University, Nara 631-8505, Japan
Failures in agricultural development in parts of West Africa may have been caused by the inability of the farmers to develop the abundant inland valleys for cultivation of such crops like rice, using appropriate water management systems. An inland valley in southeastern Nigeria was used to evaluate the influence of sawah and non-sawah water management using inorganic and organic soil amendments on the soil chemical properties and rice grain yield. Soil chemical properties tested were soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, pH, exchangeable K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+. Others were CEC, percent base saturation and exchangeable acidity while the grain yield of rice was also measured. The soils are loose, low in pH and poor in plant nutrient elements. In spite of that, the sawah-managed system was able to improve the pH of the soil by raising it slightly both in the first and second year of planting. Generally, essential plant nutrients such as exchangeable K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+, including fertility index like the CEC, were improved within sawah management within the period. Also, rice grain yield increased significantly (5.62 and 6.25 tons/ha in the first year and 5.32 and 6.53 tons/ha in the second year for non-sawah and sawah, respectively) with sawah system such that about 11 and 23% yield increases were obtained in sawah over the non-sawah in the two years, respectively. Although organic carbon can be used to explain the variation in total grain yield in the first year, it was the CEC that explained the total grain yield in the second year. The study revealed the superiority of sawah over non-sawah in the production of lowland rice in an inland valley in southeastern Nigeria. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.