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Soil Evaluation for Cashew, Cocoa and Oil Palm in Akure, South-West Nigeria

Authors: Francis Bukola Dada, Samuel Ojo Ajayi, Babatunde Sunday Ewulo, Kehinde Oseni Saani

Abstract:

A key element in the sustainability of the soil-plant relationship in crop yield and performance is the soil's capacity to support tree crops prior to establishment. With the intention of determining the suitability and limitations of the soils of the locations, the northern and southern portions of Akure, a rainforest in Nigeria, were chosen for the suitability evaluation of land for tree crops. In the study area, 16 pedons were established with the help of the Global Positioning System (GPS), the locations were georeferenced and samples were taken from the pedons. The samples were subjected to standard physical and chemical testing. The findings revealed that soils in the research locations were deep to extremely deep, with pH ranging from highly acidic to slightly acidic (4.94 to 6.71). and that sand predominated. The soils had low levels of organic carbon, effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC), total nitrogen, and available phosphorus, whereas exchangeable cations were evaluated as low to moderate. The suitability result indicated that only Pedon 2 and Pedon 14 are currently highly suitable (S1) for the production of oil palms, while others ranged from moderately suitable to marginally suitable. Pedons 4, 12, and 16 were not suitable (N1), respectively, but other Pedons were moderately suitable (S2) and marginally suitable (S3) for the cultivation of cocoa. None of the study areas are currently highly suitable for the production of oil palms. The poor soil texture and low fertility status were the two main drawbacks found. Finally, sound management practices and soil conservation are essential for fertility sustainability.

Keywords: Cashew, cocoa, land evaluation, oil palm, soil fertility suitability.

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