ORGANIC PINEAPPLE PRODUCTION SYSTEM FOR SUSTAINABLE SOIL FERTILITY AND FRUIT YIELD IN THE RAIN-FOREST AGROECOLOGY OF SOUTH-EASTERN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

A field experiment was conducted in Federal University of Technology Owerri to determine the effects of different rates of poultry manure (10.00, 20.00 and 30.00 t ha-1) mulched with different types (palm bunch, sawdust and wood-shavings) and rates (0.00, 10.00 and 20.00 t ha-1) on the growth and yield patterns of pineapple, weed smoldering capacity of mulch, soil residual property and profitability of these treatment combinations. The experiment was a 3x3x3 factorial fitted into a Randomized Complete Block Design. The pre and post-harvest soil physical and chemical properties were also analyzed. The treatments were combined in all possible combinations and were replicated thrice. Standard poultry manure rates of 20.00 t ha-1 with zero mulch were used as the control. Data on pineapple growth, weed supressiveness by mulch, lodging, flowering and ripening, suckering ability and yield parameters were collected and statistically analyzed using GenStat Release 10.3 Discovery Edition 4. Application of 30.00 t ha-1 of poultry manure gave tallest pineapple (88.00 cm), highest number of leaves (46.70), yield (61.50 t ha-1) and sucker (8.40). Also application of 20.00 t ha-1 of mulch types gave the tallest pineapple (89.00 cm), highest number of leaves (44.48), pineapple yield (69.30 t ha-1) and suckers (8.40) when compared with wood-shavings and sawdust rates. Palm bunch gave the highest yield of 64.00 t ha-1 when compared with other types. The interaction of 30 t ha-1 poultry manure and 20.00 t ha-1 mulch produced the highest number of leaves and fruit yield (52.78 and 73.40 t ha-1) each over other interaction rates. Mulch rates significantly influenced weed suppression.  20.00 t ha-1 of mulch produced the least fresh weed biomass of 1.18, 1.15 and 2.50 kg ha-1 at 4, 8 and12 MAP respectively while zero mulch produced the highest fresh weed biomass of 3.85, 4.54 and 6.22 kg ha-1 at 4, 8 and 12 MAP respectively. However, interaction of mulch and poultry manure rates significantly affected fresh weed biomass at 8 MAP. Thus the least fresh weed biomass (1.08 kg ha-1) was produced by the interaction 20.00 t ha-1 of any mulch type and 10.00 t ha-1 of poultry manure while the highest fresh weed biomass (5.24 kg ha-1) was produced by 0.00 t ha-1 of any mulch type and 30.00 t ha-1 of poultry manure. Soil residual properties showed a positive improvement from the applied treatments. Thus, the plot that received 20.00 t ha-1 of palm bunch and 30.00 t ha-1 of poultry manure showed significant improvement in pH level, organic matter content, potassium and phosphorus content over the pre-soil analysis values. The Benefit Cost Ratio analysis (BCR) showed that the 27 treatments were all profitable as all their BCR values were all above unity. The plots manured with 30.00 t ha-1 of poultry manure and 20.00 t ha-1 of palm bunch gave the highest profit of #9,411,127.03. It is therefore recommended for sustainable soil fertility and profitable organic pineapple production for farmers in rain-forest agro-ecology of south-eastern Nigeria.

Keyword: Pineapple, organic, rain-forest, sustainable soil fertility, high benefit-cost-ratio.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page…………………………………………………………………………………….. i

Certification ………………………………………………………………………………. ii

Dedication …………………………………………………………………………………. iii

Acknowledgements ……………………………………………………………………….. iv

Table of contents………………………………………………………………………… v

List of tables ………………………………………………………………………………. xii

List of figures ……………………………………………………………………………… xv

Abstract ………………………………………………………………………………….. xvi

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………… 1

1.1 Background Information …………………………………………………………… 1

1.2 Problem statement ………………………………………………………………… 5

1.3 Justification …………………………………………………………………… 6

1.4 Objectives…………………………………………………………………………… 7

CHAPTER TWO

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW …………………………………………………………… 8

2.1 Origin and history …………………………………………………………………… 8

2.2 Etymology of the word “pineapple” ………………………………………………… 10

2.3 Botany and physiology ……………………………………………………………… 11

2.4 Pineapple propagation material …………………………………………………… 12

2.5 Unique features in pineapple botany ……………………………………………….. 14

2.5.1 Leaf shape and arrangement ………………………………………………………… 14

2.5.2 Axillary roots system and basal white tissue …………………………………………14

2.5.3 Stomata …………………………………………………………………………… 14

2.5.4 Trichomes (leaf hairs) ……………………………………………………………… 15

2.5.5 Water storage tissue ………………………………………………………………… 15

2.5.6 CAM photosynthesis ……………………………………………………………… 15

2.6 World production and distribution …………………………………………………… 16

2.7 Agro-climate and soil requirement …………………………………………………… 18

2.8 Uses of pineapple ……………………………………………………………………… 20

2.8.1 Food …………………………………………………………………………… 20

2.8.2 Feed material ……………………………………………………………… 20

2.8.3 Bromelain production ……………………………………………………… 21

2.8.4 Fiber production …………………………………………………………… 22

2.8.5 Medicine …………………………………………………………………… 22

2.8.6 Ornamentals ……………………………………………………………… 23

2.9 Organic manure ……………………………………………………………………… 23

2.9.1 Need for organic manure utilization ………………………………………. 24

2.10 Poultry manure ………………………………………………………………….. 26

2.11 Mulch in tropical agriculture ………………………………………………………… 28

2.12 Types of mulch ……………………………………………………………………… 28

CHAPTER THREE

3.0 MATERIALS AND METHODS…………………………………………………… 31

3.1 Location ……………………………………………………………………………… 31

3.2 Climatic and soil condition of the experimental location ………………………… 31

3.3 Agronomic practices ………………………………………………………………….. 31

3.3.1 Farm clearing ……………………………………………………………………… 31

3.3.2 Land preparation …………………………………………………………………… 32

3.3.3 Layout ……………………………………………………………………………… 32

3.3.4 Planting materials …………………………………………………………………… 34

3.3.5 Planting ……………………………………………………………………………… 34

3.4 Pre-planting soil analysis …………………………………………………… .. 34

3.5 Procurement of treatment materials and analysis …………………………………… 35

3.5.1 Poultry manure ……………………………………………………………………… 35

3.5.2 Mulch materials …………………………………………………………………… 35

3.6 Predominant weeds found in the experimental plots after planting …………… 35

3.7 Treatments and Experimental design ………………………………………………… 36

3.8 Data collection ……………………………………………………………………… 37

3.8.1 Length of “D” leaf ……………………………………………………………… 37

3.8.2 Number of leaves ………………………………………………………………… 37

3.8.3 Fresh weed biomass ……………………………………………………………… 37

3.8.4 Days to first flowering …………………………………………………………… 37

3.8.5 Days to 50% flowering …………………………………………………………… 38

3.8.6 Days from flowering to 50% flowering interval …………………………………… 38

3.8.7 Days from flowering to ripening interval………………………………………… 38

3.8.8 Days from flowering to suckering interval ………………………………………… 38

3.8.9 Days to first fruit ripening (maturity) ……………………………………………… 38

3.8.10 Fruit length ……………………………………………………………………… 38

3.8.11 Circumference of the fruit ……………………………………………………… 38

3.8.12 Pulp, rind and pith ratio by thickness (cm)………………………………………… 39

3.8.13 Pulp, rind and pith ratio by weight (kg) …………………………………………… 39

3.8.14 Weight of the fruit crown (kg)…………………………………………………… 39

3.8.15 Number of multiple crown per plot ……………………………………………… 39

3.8.16 Length of pineapple stalk ………………………………………………………… 41

3.8.17 Percentage fruit lodging ………………………………………………………… 41

3.8.18 Average fruit weight …………………………………………………………… 41

3.8.19 Average fruit yield ……………………………………………………………… 42

3.8.20 Rate of fruit ripening …………………………………………………………… 42

3.8.21 Days to first suckering …………………………………………………………… 42

3.8.22 Number of suckers at 50% flowering stage ….…………………………………… 42

3.8.23 Number of suckers at ratoon flowering stage …………………………………… 42

3.8.24 Percentage ratoon-sucker lodging ……………………………………………… 42

3.9 Post harvest soil physical and chemical analysis …………………………………… 44

3.10 Data analysis …………………………………………………………………… 44

3.11 Input output cost analysis ……………………………………………………….. 44

CHAPTER FOUR

4.0 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION………………………………………………………. 46

4.1 Result ………………………………………………………………………………….. 46

4.1.1 Chemical properties of palm bunch, sawdust, wood shaving and poultry manure used for experiment in 2013…………………………………………………………. 46

4.1.2 Growth responses of pineapple to treatments……………………………………… 48

4.1.2.1 Height of pineapple …………………………………………………………… 48

4.1.2.2 Number of leaves………………………………………………………………… 53

4.1.3 Response of treatments to weed incidence………………………………………… 59

4.1.3.1 Fresh weed biomass……………………………………………………………… 59

4.1.4 Effect of treatments on crop fruit and ratoon sucker lodging percentages………………… 63

4.1.4.1 Crop fruit and ratoon-sucker lodging percentages …………………………… 63

4.1.5 Effect of treatments on flowering and ripening parameters………………………. 66

4.1.5.1 Days to first flowering, days to 50% flowering and flowering to 50% flowering interval……………………………………………………………………………… 66

4.1.5.2 Days to ripening, ripening rate, flowering to ripening interval and flowering to suckering interval ………………………………………………………………… 72

4.1.6 Effect of treatments on ratoon-suckering parameters ……………………………… 76 4.1.6.1 Days to first ratoon-suckering, number of ratoon-suckers at 50% flowering stage and number of ratoon-suckers at first ratoon flowering stage………………… 76

4.1.7 Effect of treatments on different yield parameters ………………………….. 82

4.1.7.1 Crown weight, fruit weight and fruit yield………………………………………… 82

4.1.7.2 Number of multiple crown, fruit circumference, fruit length and stalk length…… 88

4.1.7.3 Rind thickness, pulp thickness and pith thickness………………………………… 91

4.1.7.4 Rind weight, pulp weight and pith weight……………………………………….. 96

4.1.8 Residual effect of treatments on soil physic-chemical content……………………… 99

4.1.8.1 Post-harvest soil analysis on treatment basis……………………………………… 99

4.2 Correlation analysis …………………………………………………………………… 102

4.2.1 Response of some selected growth and yield parameters to correlation analysis … 102

4.3 Input output cost analysis for organic pineapple production …………….. 104

4.4 Discussion …………………………………………………………………………… 108

4.4.1 Response of growth parameters to treatments ………………………………………. 108

4.4.1.1 Pineapple height ………………………………………………………………… 108

4.4.1.2 Number of leaves ………………………………………………………………… 109

4.4.2 Response of weed incidence to treatments ………………………………………… 110

4.4.2.1 Fresh weed biomass ……………………………………………………………… 110

4.4.3 Response of damage parameters to treatments ……………………………………… 111

4.4.3.1 Fruit and ratoon-sucker percentages ……………………………………………… 111

4.4.4 Response of flowering and ripening parameters to treatments …………………… 112

4.4.4.1 Days to first flowering, days to 50% flowering and flowering to 50% flowering interval …………………………………………………… 112

4.4.4.2 Days to ripening, ripening rate, flowering to ripening interval and flowering to suckering interval ………………………………………………. 112

4.4.5 Response of ratoon-sucker parameters to treatments ……………………………… 114

4.4.5.1 Days to suckering, number of suckers at 50% flowering stage and number of sucker at first ratoon-sucker flowering stage. …………………………………… 114

4.4.6 Response of treatments to yield parameters. ……………………………………… 115

4.4.6.1 Crown weight, fruit weight and fruit yield ……………………………………… 115

4.4.6.2 Number of multiple crown, fruit circumference, fruit length and stalk length. … 117

4.4.6.3 Rind, pulp and pith thickness. …………………………………………………… 117

4.4.6.4 Rind, pulp and pith weight. ……………………………………………………… 118

4.4.7 Residual effect of treatments on soil physic-chemical properties. ……………….. 119

4.4.8 Response of correlation analysis of some selected growth parameters on yield of pineapple…………………………………………………………………………… 121

4.4.9 Response of different treatments to input output cost analysis of organic pineapple production………………………………………………………………………….. 122

CHAPTER FIVE

5.0 SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION……………………… 124

5.1 Summary. …………………………………………………………………………… 124

5.2 Conclusion. …………………………………………………………………………… 126

5.3 Recommendations …………………………………………………………………… 127

5.4 Contributions to knowledge………………………………………………………… 127

5.5 Further work …………………………………………………………………………… 128

REFERENCES.………………………………………………………………………………130

APPENDICES. …………………………………………………………………………… 147

CHAPTER ONE                                              

1.0 INTRODUCTION           

1.1 Background Information

Pineapple (Annanas comosus L) is a perennial herb in the botanical family Bromeliaceae, native to South American tropics precisely Parana- Paraguay (Bartholomew et al., 2002). Pineapple is the third most important tropical fruit in the world after banana (Musa acuminate) and orange(Citrus sinensis) (Bartholomew et al, 2003). Pineapple is a unique tropical fruit having exceptional juiciness, vibrant flavor and immense health benefits (Joy, 2010). It is grown both for the fresh and processed market, which makes it an important food which can be eaten fresh or eaten in a processed form (FAO, 2009).  It can increase national income through the expansion of local industries and higher incomes for farmers involved in its production (Fawole, 2008).  It is a hardy fruit cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical countries and grows well in frost free regions between 250 North and South of the equator (Samson, 1986). According to Ubi et al.,(2005), pineapple is a xerophyte and can survive long dry periods. The reason why pineapple can withstand long dry period is because   rainwater, mist and dew are collected by its funnel shaped leaves and stored for plant utilization during drought (Franz et al., 2001).

Bromeliads are among the few plants that can be induced artificially.  Thus flowering can be induced at about 7- 8 months before the time of natural flowering by calcium carbide and some gaseous hormones like ethylene, ethephon, naphthalene acetic acid and auxins (NARI, 1999).

Pineapple is very nutritious as a fruit and an excellent source of manganese (76%) Daily value(DV) and Vitamin C (131%) DV cup serving in its fresh state (USDA, 2012).

Inspite Nigeria’s potential in pineapple production in the world and the enormous economic advantages that the country has in favour of pineapple production as a result of its geographical location, it still has the lowest productivity of 7 tons/ha when compared with 50-80 t ha-1 of other nine top producers in the world (FAOSTAT, 2010).  Nigeria contributes only 5% of the world pineapple production which reflects a low yield in pineapple production in the country   (Mark, 2010).

In Nigeria, pineapple production has been neglected in terms of research despite abundant harvest from all nooks and crannies of the country. Three decades ago there was no organized production system with deliberate allocation of resources for pineapple as it is in other contemporary foreign exchange earner crops (Obiefuna et al., 1987). Nevertheless, many commercial farms owned by both individuals and cooperate bodies have evolved following the current profitability awareness of pineapple production. Some of the pineapple farms in Nigeria are Divine Orchard Farms at Aba, Abia State, Chukwuikeh Amoli Farms at Awgu, Enugu State, Great Victoria Integrated Farms at Ukwuani, Delta State, Otok Pineapple Plantation at Akamkpa, Cross River State, San Carlos Pineapple Plantation at Ihe, Awgu Enugu State etc.

Maintaining and improving soil quality is crucial if agricultural productivity and environmental quality are to be sustained for future generations (Reeves, 1997). However, intensive agriculture has had negative effects on the soil and environment over the past decades (Zhao et al., 2009). For example the use of inorganic fertilizer to increase yield has been found to be effective only within few years. This leads to a consistent use of fertilizer on long term basis (Ojeniyi,et al., 2009).  The problem with the use of inorganic fertilizer in Nigerian soils is its abuse through improper application by peasant farmers (IFDC, 2005). Secondly the hazardous environmental consequences such as contributing to soil acidity, physical and chemical degradation and high cost of inorganic fertilizer make them not only undesirable but also uneconomical and out of reach of the peasant farmers who still dominate Nigerian agricultural sector (Shiyam and Binang, 2011). According to Agbede et al., (2008) continuous use of inorganic fertilizers alone is unsustainable. Furthermore, in developed areas where pineapple production is industrialized, high quantity of pesticide are utilized which may affect soil quality and biodiversity. For example in Costa Rica, pineapple growers typically use 20 kg of pesticide per hectare in each growing cycle (Felicity, 2010). Conservation agriculture which simply implies practising agriculture in such a way as to cause minimum damage to the environment is advocated by Mutiu et.al, (2015). Also studies have shown that minimal or no-tillage management can improve soil aggregation and reduce losses of soil organic matter that result from cultivation which invariably improve soil health and increase productivity (Havlin, et.al, 1990; Carter, 1992). Furthermore, management practices that decrease high utilization of agricultural chemicals are required to avoid adverse environmental impacts (Bilalis et al., 2009).

The detrimental effect of weeds on croplands has long been recognized by farmers since the advent of agriculture. Weeds pose a serious problem in crop production such as increasing the cost of production (Bose and Mitra, 1990). Weeds compete with cultivated crops for limited resources such as water, nutrients, light and space as well as contribute to reduction in the quality and quantity of the final product (Onyedumade et al., 1992). According to Sinha and Lagoke (1983); Yayock et al., (1988) unchecked weed could cause yield losses that can often exceed other agricultural problems like pest and disease infestation. In addition to the above mentioned facts, many weed species have also been implicated in crop disease and pest transmission as alternate hosts for other crop pests especially the microbial pathogens such as fungi, viruses, bacteria, actinomycetes and nematodes. Uncontrolled weeds at the early stage of crops whose foliage develop slowly over a period of 3-4 months impose a stress on the crop resulting to reduced yield and suppressed growth and prolonged production cycle (Unamma et al., 1985).

Complete elimination of weeds is not possible on croplands. Traditional farmers manipulate weed in various ways to keep their population at sub-threshold levels during the critical stages of crop growth after which the crops will not be severely affected by the weeds as they have become well established. One of such strategies is mulching with available organic materials around the farm. This type of mulch material is constrained by seasonal unavailability, limited quantity and are ineffective in weed suppression for a prolonged period and rapid decomposition, hence the need for dry organic mulch which has slower decomposition rate as a result of high C: N ratio and high lignin and polyphenol content which may effectively suppress weed for a long period (Rynk, 1992).

Pineapple because of its inherent slow growth and the wider space between the rows is prone to continual weed germination and growth leading to severe competition and as a result, yield reduction could be very high and at worst conditions could lead to complete crop failure (Chadha et al., 1997). Similarly, Bose and Mitra, (1990) reported that weeds pose a serious problem in the cultivation of pineapple especially during the rainy season and manual weeding may account for 40 percent of the total production cost. Sison, (2000) showed that application of the herbicide sulfentrazone at 0.5 kg a.i. ha1 gave excellent weed control and resulted in significantly higher yield compared to the untreated control. Nevertheless, use of chemical has much disadvantage like being costly, lack of application skills among rural farmers, its negative effect on health and environment at large.  Mulching can reduce weed competition against cultivated crops saving fuel and labour costs for weed control. Covering the soil surface with suitable mulch can achieve the following: reduce weed seed germination, shade and physically hinder emerging weeds and also enhance crop growth and competitiveness by conserving soil moisture and sometimes by modifying soil temperature (Teasdale & Mohler, 2000). There are different types of mulch. Our concern in this research is channeled towards dry organic mulch which has slow decomposition rate, readily available as waste material and at the same time affordable to the commercial and small scale farmers of South-eastern Nigeria.

1.2 Problem statement

South-eastern agro-ecological zone is located within the rain forest zone of Nigeria. This area is characterized by high rainfall and temperature. Soils in these areas are acidic due to the nature of the parent material which is mostly granite, heavy leaching and weathering leading to soil infertility. Also, among the many constraints to pineapple production in this zone are poor soil status and heavy weed infestation since weed has the capacity to survive on poor soils than crops; furthermore the thorny nature of pineapple posses inconvenience in its field management causing the utilization of chemicals as the alternative priority for its weed management. However, use of chemicals has its negative consequences. This research therefore tries to assess the combination of different rates of poultry manure and dry organic mulch as an Eco-friendly technique for improved and sustainable production of Smooth cayenne pineapple in South eastern rainforest zone of Nigeria.

1.3 Justification

The present high population pressure and the usurping of agricultural farmlands’ positions by high infra-structural development have reduced the age-long shifting cultivation practised by traditional farmers in Africa. This situation has also forced commercial farmers to embark on continuous cropping which can only be sustained by practising high input agriculture that involves utilization of heavy machines and high quantities of chemicals like inorganic fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides etc. However, reports show that continuous use of these chemicals is detrimental to both the environment and human health. Pineapple is a hardy crop that can withstand drought; it is an economic fruit and was observed by Quijandria etal., (1997) as highly profitable and possesses high potential in international market. As a result of the numerous benefits accruing from its utilization, pineapple production can therefore be used to solve the problem of food security, create jobs for the teeming population, help in rural development and at the same time improve health of the citizens. Though some earlier researchers have investigated such agronomic problems as forcing (Ucheagwu & Obiefuna, 1982), rapid multiplication techniques (Norman, 1982), fertilizer rates (Obiefuna, 1987) and marketing aspect of pineapple (Oladapo et.al, 2007; Adesope et.al, 2009; Amao et.al, 2011) there is still scarcity of research work on combination of different rates of poultry manure and dry organic mulch on pineapple, hence the need for the use of organic management techniques in this research.

1.4 Objectives

The broad objective of the study therefore is to achieve sustainable and improved pineapple yield at minimal soil degradation using affordable organic management techniques while specific objectives of the study include:

  1. To ascertain the poultry manure and mulch rates or their interaction that is most suitable for high pineapple fruit yield, ii. to determine the ideal mulch rate that gave the most effective weed suppression, iii. to identify the poultry manure and mulch rate or their interaction that proliferated the highest number of suckers, iv. to assess the residual effect of the applied poultry manure rates, mulch types and rates on the soil physical and chemical characteristics and
  2. to evaluate the profitability of the use of different poultry manure and dry mulch types and rates in organic pineapple production.

 

ORGANIC PINEAPPLE PRODUCTION SYSTEM FOR SUSTAINABLE SOIL FERTILITY AND FRUIT YIELD IN THE RAIN FOREST AGROECOLOGY OF SOUTH-EASTERN NIGERIA.

 

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