USE OF BIOFERTILIZER PRODUCED FROM FERMENTED ORGANIC WASTES IN THE PRODUCTION OF OKRA
The experiments were conducted at the Department of Crop Science Analytical Laboratory and green house of Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Experiment one was an analysis of the nutrient contents of fermented and unfermented plant waste materials using the official method of analysis of Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). Experiment two was on assessment of the effects of plant wastes and different forms of organic manure fermented for one or two months on the growth and yield of okra plants. The experiment was a split-split plot experiment laid out in a completely randomized design (CRD) with four replications. The factors were plant waste (four), particle size (two), and form (four), giving a total of thirty-two treatment combinations. The plant wastes were rice husks, moringa pod husks, grass, and control (no manure).The two particle sizes were 1.00 mm and 0.63 mm and the four types of manure were biol, biosol, biol and biosol combination and no manure. Data were collected on; number of leaves per plant, number of leaves/treatment, plant height/treatment, plant height, stem girth, stem girth/ treatment, seed weight per fruit, fruit weight, fruit girth, 100 seed weight, number of seeds per plant, average number of seeds/treatment. Data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA). Mean separation was done using Fishers least significant difference. Significance was accepted at (P < 0.05). Moringa pod had the highest nitrogen (1.30%), phosphorus (16.38 ppm), potassium (0.54 ppm) and fat content (2.65%). The biols (P < 0.05) gave the highest percentage moisture of 87.4% for rice husk, 83.28% for moringa pod husk and 85% for grass. The least percentage ash was 0.84%, 0.87% and 0.94% respectively. Fat content was considerably higher in the raw wastes than in the fermented wastes at both one month and two months of fermentation. Moisture content was generally low at 6.4%, 7.0%, and 6.85% for moringa pod, grass and rice husk, respectively. The liquid (biol) of trhe wastes fermented for one month differed significantly ( P < 0.05) from both the biosol and the biol + biosol combination in improving plant height, number of leaves and stem girth of okra plant starting from three weeks after planting. Thus, biol gave the best result for fruit length (5.44 cm), fruit weight(0.78 g), fruit girth(4.52 cm), number of seeds (10.33), 100 seed weight (4.32 g) and seed weight per fruit (0.46 g)( at P < 0.05) compared to biosol that gave fruit length (3.88cm), fruit weight(0.38 g), fruit girth(2.92 cm), number of seeds(5.50), 100 seed weight(2.98g) and seed weight per fruit(0.19g). For wastes fermented for two months, the biol also gave the best result for fruit length (5.87 cm), fruit weight (0.63 g), fruit girth (4.10 cm), number of seeds (12.29), 100 seed weight (2.63 g) and seed weight per fruit (0.36 g),( P < 0.05), compared to the biosol that gave fruit length (1.33 cm), fruit weight(0.07 g), fruit girth(0.83 cm), number of seeds(1.33), 100 seed weight(0.67 g) and seed weight per fruit(0.03 g)( P < 0.05). Among the three plant wastes, the solid wastes (biosols) of rice husk improved okra fruit length (4.40 cm) more than grass (2.21 cm) and moringa pod husk (2.71 cm). Particle sizes have no significant effect (p< 0.05) on the growth and yield of okra. The liquid wastes (biols) of moringa pod husk gave the best growth and yield. Generally, plant growth and yield were better for wastes fermented for one month compared to wastes fermented for two months (P < 0.05).