Volume 5, Issue 2, June 2020, Page: 20-25
Optimization of Camellia sinensis Crop Productivity by Use of Blended Fertilizers
Evans Kenanda Okemwa, Department Research and Extension, Kisii University, Kisii, Kenya
Jepkemei Naum Kirwa, Department of Chemistry, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Kisii University, Kisii, Kenya
Received: Jun. 8, 2020;       Accepted: Jun. 20, 2020;       Published: Jul. 4, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.wjac.20200502.12      View  285      Downloads  85
Tea (Camellia sinensis) is the top foreign exchange earner in Kenya. Its demand is relatively high and this has triggered increased production. Manufacturing companies have also stiff competitions amongst themselves on the aspect of branding. However, for quality assurance and high productivity, the nature of fertilizer in regard to its nutrients has played a major role. This study investigated the effects of blended NPK (Nitrogen:phosphorus:potassium) fertilizer on tea crop productivity in different growing regions of Kenya. The optimum sustainable rate of fertilizer application was also determined. Different rates of 0, 75, 150 and 225 Kg/ha/Yr (kilogram per hectare per year) were used. A randomized complete block design was applied and the sample clone was Tea Research Foundation of Kenya (TRFK) 6/8. The samples, composed of two leaves and a bud, were randomly picked, dried and ground into powder. Each sample was heated to ash in a muffle furnace, cooled and digested using 50% double acid of HNO3 and HCl with H2O2. Desorption was done using HCl and samples allowed to settle before being aspirated into an Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OPS). They were reweighed and digested for determination of total percentage nitrogen.; This was followed by distillation before titration with ammonium borate solution and HCl. Data analysis was done using MSTAT statistical package. The results revealed that the percentage accumulation of elements was highest when blended fertilizer was applied at a lower rate of 75 Kg N/Ha/Yr. compared to standard compounded fertilizer, which required higher rates of up to 225 Kg N/Ha/Yr. for accumulation of nutrients. Blended fertilizer was therefore found to be more economical and highly yielding than Standard compounded fertilizer, as a lower rate of application still led to higher accumulation of elements which is directly proportional to higher yield and quality in tea.
Camellia Sinensis, Fertilizer, Tea, Productivity, Desorption
To cite this article
Evans Kenanda Okemwa, Jepkemei Naum Kirwa, Optimization of Camellia sinensis Crop Productivity by Use of Blended Fertilizers, World Journal of Applied Chemistry. Vol. 5, No. 2, 2020, pp. 20-25. doi: 10.11648/j.wjac.20200502.12
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