104897 Participatory Approach in Soil Testing and Nutrient Management in Smallholder Farms of Nepal.
Poster Number 1407
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Tampa Convention Center, East Exhibit Hall
Awareness of sustainable crop production technologies for high-quality food products and healthy environment has been rapidly increasing in Nepal. A participatory approach to soil testing and nutrient management can provide an opportunity for smallholder farmers to learn about soil fertility status of their farm, and implement necessary practices for improving crop production and profitability. We established a participatory research in crop-vegetable systems in Chitwan, Nepal to estimate the soil fertility status, and demonstrate soil testing and integrated nutrient management practices. Soil fertility status of 67-farms was analyzed by using soil testing field kits, and farmers were trained on integrated nutrient management practices. Soil pH and electrical conductivity (EC) were measured with a combo meter and nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K) were analyzed by using the colorimetric technique. Results from the soil testing showed a range of soil pH and EC to be 5.7 to 8.04 and 0.06 to 1.31 dS/m, respectively. Status of N-P-K ranged from low to high. More importantly, farmers learned to use a fid kit for a quick assessment of soil fertility status, understood the value of periodic soil testing for sustainable crop and vegetable production, and gained knowledge of integrated nutrient management practices. This research revealed the need for farmer training on improved management practices for improving soil quality and agricultural sustainability in Chitwan, Nepal. The participatory approach in agricultural research could serve as a practical and cost effective tool for delivering improved management practices to smallholder farmers.