Effect of pit floor material on compost quality in Semiarid West Africa uri icon

abstract

  • Composting improves nutrient recycling in semiarid Africa but requires labor and water inputs. We compared effects of pit floor materials (sand, mud, and straw bricks (banco), and cement) on quality of compost made of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) stalks and cow manure. Mean compost dry mass loss ranged from 25% in sand-floor pits to 37% in banco-floor pits. Final C contents were 0.25 g g?1 for cement-floor compost, 0.20 g g?1 for sand-floor compost, and 0.16 g g?1 for banco-floor compost. Final C/N ratios were 25.8 in sand-floor compost, 20.6 in banco-floor compost, and 24.9 in cement-floor compost. Compost water content increased as floor porosity decreased. Dry mass and nutrient content were much greater for plants grown with sand-floor compost, but none of the compost data taken suggested superior quality. Results suggest increased floor porosity improves compost quality. Additional study is required to improve local compost technology

publication date

  • 2006
  • 2006