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This study determined the comparative analysis of poultry manure and NPK fertilizer on the growth of tomato in Kaduna Polytechnic Kaduna State, Nigeria. A field experiment was carried out using a randomized complete block design (RCBD). The experiment was carried out on a field with three replications. The rate of fertilizer applied 2.0g of both the organic (poultry manure) and inorganic (NPK) fertilizer. Data collected from 3 – 12 weeks after sowing were plant height, number of leaves, stem diameter and number of dates to flowering. The result obtained indicates that plant grown with poultry manure was superior at 12 weeks with mean height (42.3cm), mean number of leaves (15). Poultry manure was less effective in improving stem diameter of tomato having mean number of 1.46cm, based on the finding of the study; poultry manure was found to be the best to be used for the growth of tomato.



1.1       Background of the Study

Tomato (Lycopersicum esculetum), of the family Solanaceae, is one of the most important vegetable crops in the world. It is consumed fresh and as paste in all parts of the world (Alofe and Somade, 1982). Tomato plays a vital role in the improvement of the diet of mankind. The fruit is adapted to various culinary uses either in the fresh form in salad or as puree in gravies, stew and soups. Vitamin C in human diet is supplied by fruit and vegetable (of which tomato is the most important) (Vallego et al, 2002). Tomato fruits contain high amount of ascorbic acid and lycopene (Tindall, 1983). Lycopene, an antioxidant, is the pigment that impact red color to some fruits most notably tomato and water melon. It is also a highly efficient oxygen radical scavenger and has been found in human health as providing protection against cardiovascular disease and some cancers, particularly that of the pros table.

Many pre and post harvest factors influence the phytechemical contents of horticultural crops. Large genotypic variation in vitamin content was reviewed by Kurilieh et al. (1999) and Vallego et al. (2002). Other pre harvest factors include climate conditions and cultural practices (Howard et al, 1999): Lisiewska and Kmiecik, 1996: Jeffery et al, (2003). Among fertilizer and soil fertility can influence the levels of functional food components in crops.

Tomato is cultivated in Nigeria with an annual production crop of six millions tones (Idah 2007). Tomato is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which help to control cancer, health disease as well as improve the general health of man (Antonio 2004).

Most soil in Africa are poor compared with other part of the (Batriono 2006). African soil nutrient balances are often negative due to low level of fertilizer input, and soil nutrient deflection is a major reason for decreasing or stagnation of agricultural productivity Sanchez 1997. Mbah (2006) asserts that soil fertility is a major overriding constraint that affects all aspect of crop production. As is the case in other regions in Africa, local farmer use in inadequate nutrient input, inappropriate quality and in efficient  combinations of fertilizers, which in the end proved to be very costly (Palm, 1997). A consequence of this trend is a deeply unbalanced soil nutrient composition that ultimately leads to reduction in crop yield potential (Tonfack (2009). Nutrients, when in adequate quantity, increases fruit quality, fruit size, colour, and fruit taste of tomato (Azad, 2000). It also helps in increasing desirable acidic lavor.

The increase in N,P,K, Ca and Mg contents of tomato due to the application of poultry manure is consistent with the use of poultry manure as fertilizer for tomato product (Agele 2001): Akanni, 2005). It was found that 30 tonnes hecter-1 poultry manure gave the most growth and highest fruit yield among all poultry manure levels, although leaf N increased with amount of poultry manure up to 40 tonnes hecter-1 poultry manure. Olasantan (1991) also found that fruit yield of the tomato plant was reduced at higher N application rates. It was suggested that there was a nutrient imbalance in tomato with a large increase in N supplied from poultry manure. Reduction in growth and yield when more than 30 tonnes hecter-1 poultry manure was used could also be adduced to soil acidity. Soil pH tended to reduce with an increase in the amount of poultry manure suggested.

1.2       Problem Statement

The problems of pest and disease attack, which is one among the major problem facing tomato production, has subsequently caused the reduction in yield and income accruable to the tomato farmer.

The study work is aimed at finding solutions to the research questions. What kind of fertilizer is best for tomato production, and is there any significant, difference between productivity of organic manure and inorganic manure?

However, the project aimed to compare the two production, practices and the returns from the two practices.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The broad objective of this study is to determine the influence of inorganic fertilizer and organic fertilizer on the growth of tomato (Lycopersicon esculesum) in Kaduna Polytechnic.

The specific objective were to observe:

1.         Compare the performance of the crop using the number of leaves.

2.         Compare the performance of the crop plants height.

3.         To observe the stems diameter of the crop.

4.         Compare the performance of days of flowering stage.

1.4       Justification of the Study

Tomato is widely used as a food source as they are available in their fresh forms. Tomato production in Nigeria is a lucrative business despite the many setbacks. It is a source of employment for farmers. Compared to the other vegetable crop used in earnest, tomato is usually used in larger quantities. The harvested crop can be used fresh. Many farming and most of the farmers has no knowledge on how to increase the growth of tomato which will enhance good production for the farmer benefit.

Food is one of the most important basic necessities of man. For Nigeria to meet the millennium development goal in food production food including tomato must be readily available. Low soil fertility could threaten the security of food production and supply of soil fertility is a major overriding constraint that affects all aspect of crop production. Inorganic fertilizer was advocated for crop production to ameliorate low inherent fertility of soils in the tropics in addition to being expensive and scarce, the use of inorganic fertilizer has not been helpful in intensive agriculture because it is often associated with reduced crop yield, soil acidity and nutrient imbalance. Large quantities of organic waste such as poultry manure are available especially in urban centers and are effective sources of nutrient for vegetable such as tomato.

Furthermore, the benefit of using organic materials have not been fully utilized in the humid tropics, partly due to the huge quantities required to satisfy the nutritional needs of crop, transportation and handling cost. High and sustained crop yield can be obtained with judicious and balanced NPK fertilization combined with organic matter amendment. In light of these issues, a study was conducted to determine the growth, nutrient content and yield of tomato as influence by different level of poultry manure, NPK fertilizer and integrated use of NPK fertilizer and poultry manure in Kaduna, northern guinea savanna zone of Nigeria.

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