Improving Food Security and Human Health Through Integration of Organic Manure and Medicinal Plants into Rice Paddies in Ahero
Kokwaro, E. D.
Gicheru, M. M.
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Food security and human health are major concern in many parts of the world. Although irrigated farming has been used to increase food production, this has aggravated vectors and subsequent increases in malaria transmission. In rice growing schemes of Ahero incidences of malaria compromise potential of the area thus requiring integration of environmentally friendly, locally available resources through systematic and scientific research to improve food production and human health. The Field experiments were carried out in Ahero to study the effects of integration of cow dung, selected medicinal plants including neem, (Azadirachta Andica), Artemisia Annua under different irrigation regimes on malaria vector and rice production-through a community based approach. Field experiment was designed using a mixed model approach with three treatments replicated four times per block. The highest mosquito larval densities were recorded in Ammonium sulphate treated sub-plots. A reduction in the number of larvae in experimental plots with cow dung and neem was recorded suggesting that larvae and adult mosquitoes may be reduced by cow dung and neem, Significant differences in rice performance among different irrigation regimes and fertilizer treatments were observed. Plots treated with ammonium sulphate under intermittent irrigation regime recorded the highest rice yield while intermittent irrigation had the lowest mosquito larvae. Integration of organic manure and medicinal plants with intermittent irrigation could be adopted in improving rice production and human health.