Effect of organic and inorganic fertilizers on nutrient concentrations in plantain (Musa spp.) fruit pulp
The number of fruits per bunch and nutritional quality of the fruits are important horticultural and breeding selection indices in Musa improvement programs. Three plantain hybrids (‘30456-3’, ‘PITA 14’ and ‘29525’) and a landrace genotype, ‘Agbagba’, were evaluated for response to organic and inorganic fertilizers in a 4 x 3 factorial in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) in triplicate. Fruit parameters measured were fruit weight, edible proportion and pulp dry matter content; also, the concentrations of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) in fruits were determined. These parameters were measured in two cropping cycles, the plant and ratoon crops, respectively. The hybrid, ‘29252’ had the highest pulp N, K, Ca, Fe and Zn concentrations in the plant crop. In the ratoon crop, N and P were highest in ‘29525’ and ‘30456-3’, while the concentrations of the other nutrients did not differ among the genotypes. The landrace, ‘Agbagba’, produced the heaviest fruits, accumulated the highest pulp dry matter and fresh edible proportion in both crop cycles. Although in the plant crop, the fertilizer treatment did not affect most of the pulp nutrient concentrations, the P concentration decreased by 14.29 and 118.18%, respectively when inorganic fertilizer and poultry manure was applied. The N, K and Zn concentrations, respectively, increased by 6.45, 14.55 and 62.50% with inorganic fertilizer application, while all the nutrient concentrations were lowest when no fertilizer was applied. The fresh fruit weight, pulp dry matter content and fresh edible proportion were highest when poultry manure was applied.
Keywords: Plantain, genotype, fertilizer, pulp nutrient concentration, poultry manure.