1 Department of Plant Sciences, Aksum University Shire Campus, Aksum, Ethiopia
2 Department of Soil Resource and Watershed Management, Aksum University Shire Campus, Ethiopia
3 Department of Agricultural Economics, Aksum University Shire Campus, Aksum, Ethiopia
Optimum vermicompost and mineral fertilizer application is crucial for tomato production. However, farmers still use inadequate nutrient inputs and inefficient combinations. As a result, unbalanced soil nutrient compositions ultimately lead to a reduction in tomato fruit yield.
An experiment was conducted to evaluate tomato yield and economic performance under vermicompost and mineral fertilizer applications using drip irrigation during 2016/2017. Shanti-PM variety of tomato was used as a test crop and eight vermicompost and mineral fertilizer combinations were laid out in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Agronomic data were analyzed using analysis of variance procedure. Besides, an economic analysis was carried out using partial budget analysis, to indicate economically superior treatments over the control treatment by estimating the varying costs and benefits based on the current local market prices for 2017.
Results and Conclusion:
Tomato fruit yield was markedly influenced by vermicompost and mineral fertilizer combinations. The better marketable, unmarketable and total fruit yield were recorded when 8 ton ha-1 vermicompost combined with 50% recommended a dose of mineral fertilizer was applied. Even though this treatment appeared to be superior in yield, the results of partial budget analysis suggested that tomato cultivated using 4 ton ha-1 vermicompost with 50% recommended mineral fertilizer was economically feasible to be acceptable by farmers. Therefore, application of 4 ton ha-1 vermicompost with 50% recommended mineral fertilizer appeared to be agronomically superior and economically affordable for farmers to adopt.
Keywords: Marketable yield, Unmarketable yield, Partial budget analysis, Marginal rate of return, Vermicompost, Mineral fertilizer.
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