Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 287

Full Length Research Paper

Use of soil amendments for urban horticulture in the savannah and forest areas of Ghana

A. H. Abubakari
  • A. H. Abubakari
  • Department of Horticulture, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar
L. Atuah
  • L. Atuah
  • Department of Horticulture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar
B. Banful
  • B. Banful
  • Department of Horticulture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar
H. Bayor
  • H. Bayor
  • Department of Horticulture, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 26 March 2014
  •  Accepted: 12 January 2015
  •  Published: 31 March 2015

Abstract

The search for suitable alternatives to loam, manure and sand based growing media in Ghana has generated a substantial body of literature on potential amendments akin to the peat based media in developed countries. The objectives of this study were to review literature on potential soil amendments in Ghana, determine the reasons for farmer choice of amendments and determine factors influencing farmer adoption of these amendments. Document review and survey were the main methods used in data collection. The review of literature indicates that the research and discourse on soil amendment over the last two decades have largely been limited to land management and nutrient recovery from waste. Although these have largely been reported as successful, they have not addressed the quality issues of soil amendments as finished product for application in specific production systems. As the amendments are not standardized, farmers adopt varying application rates based on their own experiences. Barriers in the use of amendments were found to be the technology to collect, funds to purchase and labour employment. The agro-ecology and the farmers’ level of education largely determined the use of particular amendment. The study found wide scale acceptance and adoption of sawdust based poultry litter by urban vegetable farmers, hence the co-composting of sawdust and poultry manure would be the best option that can be developed and standardised for application in urban horticulture. Future research in soil amendment should therefore focus on net N mineralisation, stability indices and the responses of vegetable and ornamental plants to different ratios of co-composting of sawdust and poultry manure.
 
Key words: Growing media, soil amendment, urban horticulture, composting, organic waste, urban farmers.