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2Department of Botany and Plant Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Buea, P.O. Box 63 Buea, Cameroon
Global demand for food, coupled with degrading soils in sub Saharan Africa necessitates novel approaches to soil fertility management. Recently, amendments other than inorganic fertilizers are being promoted to improve crop yield. They vary from region to region and crop to crop. The aim of this research was to investigate the efficacy of deep litter poultry manure as a soil amendment in tomato production in Cameroon. We tested the effects of poultry manure at 60 t ha-1 and NPK 20:10:10 at 300kg ha-1 in a Randomised Complete Block Design, with the treatment sites blocked by soil type. Classical growth parameters were measured weekly. Yield attributes were measured following harvest, and data submitted to RT ANOVA and Repeated measures ANOVA in the Minitab Version 16 statistical package. Both the organic and inorganic soil amendments increased growth and yield of tomato, but this effect was more significant in plots treated with poultry manure at 60 t ha-1 two weeks before planting. Growth effects were not clear-cut across sites and were probably mitigated by site-specific differences in rates of nutrient-leaching. We recommend poultry manure at 60 t ha-1 to small holder tomato farmers in the humid tropics.