Sub Saharan African soils have low organic matter contents, hence applying compost is therefore instrumental to improve their fertility. This study investigated the quantity and the quality of compost produced by smallholder farmers in five provinces (Gnagna, Gourma, Komondjari, Kompienga and Tapoa) from Eastern Burkina Faso. Compost quality was determined by the main physical and chemical characteristics including bulk density, pH, organic matter (OM), carbon-to-nitrogen ratio (C/N), total-N and -P contents. The principal component analysis indicated that compost issues were specific to each province. Compost production per pit was higher in Kompienga (4.2 t/pit) as compared to Tapoa (2.9 t/pit) and Komondjari (2.1 t/pit). OM content and C/N were each negatively correlated with total-N, total-P and pH. The lowest OM content, of 16%, was recorded in Kompienga while the highest, nearly the double, was found in Gnagna. The C/N ratio was highest in Gnagna (21.4) as compared to the other provinces (11-18). The total-N content (8.5-9.6 g/kg) and total-P (2525-5068 mg/kg) were similar among provinces. The pH of all composts was alkaline and ranged between 7.7 and 8.9. With regards to the physical and chemical characteristics, these composts could be qualified as good quality, mature and stable composts.
Key words: Bulk density, compost quality, chemical characteristics.
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