Role of Minjingu Rock Phosphate and Nitrogen Fertilizer in Improving Phosphorus and Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Maize A Kenyan Case Study
Cheptoek, Rodah P.
Ochieng, Isaiah O.
Gitari, Harun I.
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Maize, an essential food item in Kenya, is grown in soils characterized by low pH and low plant-available phosphorus (P), particularly in the Western part of the nation. Low available P and soil acidity are the fundamental causes of low soil fertility in many cropped soils. Such farms are also characterized by low soil nitrogen (N) and inadequate use of inputs such as mineral fertilizers. Deficient use of agronomic inputs, especially phosphorus and nitrogen, has not only led to low yields but also has resulted in poor product quality in terms of nutritional content and yield, in addition to soil fertility degradation. Enhanced use efficiency and access to nitrate fertilizers and soil amendments such as MRP and lime will be most crucial to improving growth, grain yield, nutritional quality, and economic returns, thus reducing poverty and hunger as well as improving good health in the country. HIGHLIGHTS m Maize is an essential food item in sun Saharan Africa grown in soils that have become increasingly deficient in major plant nutrients such as N and P that has primarily influenced the crop’s grain yield, nutritional quality, and economic returns. m N plays a key role in crops’ plant chlorophyll formation, growth and development and grain productivity, and nutritional quality. m P plays a significant part in plant development and nutrition, and it is responsible for the transport of energy for the production of organic compounds and the promotion of root growth and development in plants. m Improving P and N use efficiency is essential in reducing fertilizer costs, ensuring high grain yield and economic benefits at harvest, and minimizing environmental-related impacts caused by volatilization, surface run-off, leaching, and microbial immobilization. m Minjingu Rock Phosphate remains a cheap and sustainable soil amendment that reduces P fixation and Al toxicities, thus increasing P availability and uptake compared to inorganic fertilizers