Effect of nitrogen fertilizer on growth, quality and yield of Mrenda (Corchorus olitorius) morphotypes in Kenya

Document Type: Research paper

Authors

University of Eldoret, Department of Seed, Crop and Horticultural Sciences, School of Agriculture and Biotechnology P.O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya.

Abstract

Production of Mrenda (Corchorus olitorius) in Kenya has been low due to various reasons, such as poor agronomic practices like incorrect fertilizer rates. Observations from the Mrenda growing areas showed that there is high unmet demand for crop in local market and even for export. This is due to yields being low, 2-4 tons/ha as compared to expected yield of 5-8 tons/ha. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to discern effect of Nitrogen fertilizer on growth and yield of Mrenda (Corchorus olitorius) morphotypes. Seed samples were planted at two sites of University of Eldoret and Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization, Kitale using Randomly Complete Block Design with three replicates and three levels of nitrate (Calcium nitrate) fertilizer. Five plants were tagged and the following traits were recorded: plant height, number of branching at main stem, number of pods and fresh leaf yield. Results showed highest N fertilizer rates had most effect exhibited by Morphotypes GT and BT on plants height; plant branching; pods number per plant and yield weight per plant respectively. Use of no N fertilizer caused lowest plant height, branching at main stem, pods and leaf weight per plant by Morphotypes GT and BT. It is concluded that Mrenda is N loving plant as it enhanced its growth when high amount of Nitrogen fertilizer was applied. It is recommended farmers use high N fertilizer for Mrenda production.

Keywords


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