Assessment of Soil Nutrients Limiting Sustainable Potato Production in the Highlands of South-Western Uganda
Tenywa, John Steven
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Soil fertility management is one of the major strategies for improving potato productivity in the highlands of south-western Uganda. Land belonging to potato farmers is highly fragmented hindering sustainable potato production under small-holder farming systems. Land fragmentation brings a major challenge to small-scale farmers in soil fertility management, increasing costs of production. However, identifying major soil nutrients limiting potato production in the highlands of south-western Uganda is an avenue of applying appropriate soil nutrients to improve potato productivity without degrading the soils. It also assists farmers in investing in the necessary soil nutrients and, hence reducing the costs of production while improving potato productivity. The study indicated that soil potassium was the most single significant soil nutrient limiting potato productivity especially in the fields located on hilltops and far from homesteads. Hence, it was imperative that farmers apply potassium containing fertilizers to minimize potassium depletion but also increase potato productivity. It was also important for farmers to always integrate disease management with soil nutrient management for improved potato productivity.