Variation in Cassava Yield Cultivated on Ferralsols and Ferruginous Soils in Kwara State, Nigeria
Depleting soil fertility is a severe issue of cassava production, which is the chief source of dietary food energy for most people living in the lowland tropics and much of the sub-humid tropics of West and Central Africa. This study examined variation in cassava yield cultivated on ferralsols and ferruginous soils for five years from 2011 to 2015 in Kwara State, Nigeria. Primary and secondary data were used, and the collected data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical methods. This study showed cassava yield under ferruginous soils was significantly higher than that of ferralsols (p<0.05). The mean values of total organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus content in the topsoil of ferralsols were 1.25, 0.127 and 1.558, respectively, while that of ferruginous soil were 2.192, 0.224 and 6.689, respectively. Further, the results showed that the values of nitrogen and potassium contents of ferralsols and ferruginous soils were remained within the range to support the optimum yield of cassava tuber. Findings also revealed that there could be a probable increase in the cassava yield production and a decrease in soil nutrients if farmers continue cultivating on both soils. This study recommends better practices of cassava cultivation on ferruginous soils, enlightenment on the appropriate soil management, and applying fertilizers to meet the increasing demand for cassava.
KEYWORDS: Cassava Yield, Ferralsols, Ferruginous Soils, Kwara State, Variation, Nigeria