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WOODY BIOCHAR COMBINED WITH TWO NUTRIENT SOURCES PROMOTES GERMINATION, SEEDLING GROWTH AND YIELD OF OKRA GROWN IN DEPLETED SANDY SOIL

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Abstract

The chronic problem of soil depletion, acidification and erosion, caused by poor agricultural practices and reckless burning of organic materials have compounded the problem of food security and climate change in South Eastern Nigeria. Currently not much has been done to check these problems. Controlled burning of organic materials under reduced or absence of oxygen (pyrolysis) produces biochar which can address these problems and much more. This study was carried out to produce biochar from Gmelina (BCGM) and Pentaclethra (BCPE) wood offcuts and combine them with poultry droppings (PD) and NPK (NPK 15:15:15, chemical fertilizer) in varied forms to determine the best combination for amendment of acidic sandy soil from Opi valley in Nsukka. Both screen house and field studies covering seed germination, seedling growth and yield of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.)(Moench) were carried out in a repeated experiment (experiment 1 and 2) at the Botanic garden, University of Nigeria Nsukka, using CRD and RCBD designs respectively for the two locations of the studies.