30 Jul 2015

Best Management Practices (BMP) Trials, Ghana

Catena trial


In Ghana, little to no fertilizer is applied in oil palm plantations and small holder farms, leading to depletion of soil fertility and low productivity. In addition, Ghana oil palm plantations experience low fruit bunch yields partly due to poor climatic conditions with the main constraints being sub-optimal rainfall amount and distribution as well as the prolonged dry season of 4 - 5 months. It is therefore necessary to develop improved fertilizer recommendations for sustainable oil palm production intensification as well as come up with options of ensuring sufficient water supply to reduce the yield losses which can amount to 40 - 50%. IPNI in collaboration with Norpalm Ghana Ltd. and K+S Kali GmbH Kassel have set up trials to determine the optimal N-P-K-Mg fertilizer combination that will result in the highest yields (t ha-1) and the most profitable economic return (US$ ha-1). IPNI has also partnered with Norpalm Ghana Ltd and Solidaridad West Africa to set up irrigation trials to estimate the maximum bunch yield potential under non-limiting water conditions in Ghana. Trials have also been set up at Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP), Western Region to investigate the relationship between soil texture, water availability and yield performance along a toposequence. These trials will help to improve the understanding on the impact of water availability and soil texture oil palm yields as well as develop site specific fertilizer recommendations for oil palm plantations in Ghana.




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