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

Assessment of smallholder farmers’ perceptions and degree of adoption of Tithonia diversifolia compost in addressing declining soil fertility in Ming’ongo Extension Planning Areas, Lilongwe, Malawi

MLANGENI Noel Jekemu Thembachako Angstone
Basics Programme, NR Department, Natural Resources College, P. O. Box 143, Lilongwe, Malawi.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Received: 25 August 2014
  •  Accepted: 09 January 2015
  •  Published: 31 March 2015

Abstract

A study was conducted to assess smallholder farmers’ perceptions and degree of adoption of Tithonia diversifolia chimato compost among the smallholder farmers in Ming’ongo Extension Planning Areas in Lilongwe. Primary data regarding smallholder farmers’ knowledge, perception and adoptions levels on making and using T. diversifolia chimato compost were collected through a questionnaire interview with household heads and their spouses. Descriptive and inferential statistics as well as regression analysis were used to analyse the data. Results indicated that 87% of the smallholder farmers have limited knowledge of T. diversifolia potential in improving soil fertility whereas 92% lacked knowledge of recommended blending composition of nitrogen rich and nitrogen poor organic natural resources. The results further indicated that adoption of making and supplementing T. diversifolia composts positively correlated with good education of household heads (P=0.12, ɑ=0.001), low vulnerability levels of households (P=0.207, ɑ=0.001), larger household size and labour force (P=0.47, ɑ=0.001), knowledge of nutrient richness of T. diversifolia (P=0.01, 0.001) and available extension services in the area (P=0.27, ɑ=0.05). A strong negative correlation was observed between households’ decisions to make and use composts and double poor education levels of household heads (P=0.12, ɑ=0.001), high vulnerability levels of households (P=0.207, ɑ=0.001), low household labour force (P=0.47, ɑ=0.001), lack of knowledge of richness of T. diversifolia (P=0.01, 0.001) and inadequate extension services in the area (P=0.27, ɑ=0.05).  Smallholder farmers should be sensitised on benefits of T. diversifolia chimato composts in soil enrichment.
 
Key words: Compost, adoption, households, compost supplementation.