Potential of Termite Mounds and its Surrounding Soils as Soil Amendments in Smallholder Farms in Central Uganda
Obeng Apori, Samuel
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The low fertility of highly weathered soils has been a major problem for resource-constrained small-holder farmers. In central Uganda, smallholder farmers have been collecting termite mound soils anywhere around the termite mound to improve their soil fertility. However, no studies have been conducted on which sections of the termite mounds consist of high soil nutrients. This study was conducted to assess selected major soil essential plant nutrients of soils collected from the top of the mound (TPMS), and the basal part of the mound (BPMS). The surrounding soil samples were collected from five, fifteen, and thirty meters away from the mound (TMSS1, TMSS2, and TMSS3 respectively), covering ten termite mounds in five different maize fields in central Uganda.Results:TPMS and BPMS had significant (P-value < 0.05) higher N, P, K, OC, Ca and Mg levels than TMSS1, TMSS2, and TMSS3. However, OC levels in BPMS was higher than TPMS. On the whole, termite mounds are beneficial as a source for essential plant nutrients. It will be best if smallholder farmers could collect the termite mound soils from the top and the basal part of the mound to improve the fertility of their soil.
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