Evaluation of the Effect of Plantain Peel and Tithonia Leaves as Nutrient Sources on the Performance and Mineral Accumulation of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
Field experiments were conducted in 2019 and 2020 cropping seasons at the Teaching and Research Farms of Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria to determine the potentials of the application of different rates of plantain peel and Tithomia diversifolia (sole and combined) as organic amendments in comparison with the application of inorganic fertilizer. Treatments consist of two types of organic materials: - plantain peel (0, 10 and 20 t ha-1), and T. diversifolia (0, 10, and 20 t ha-1). In-organic fertilizer (NPK 20:10:10) was also applied for comparison. The treatments were arranged in a Randomised Complete Block Design. Parameters assessed were vegetative, yield and heavy metal composition of tomato fruits. Data collected were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using SAS Computer Package version 9.0 statistical software. Study revealed that, the combined application of plantain peel and T. diversifolia increased vegetative parameters which were comparable with the application of inorganic fertilizer. There was no significant difference between the yield responses of tomato to the application of NPK fertilizer and combined application of plantain peel and T. diversifolia. Higher rates of plantain peel and T. diversifolia leaves P20T20(T7) resulted in a significant drop in the vegetative parameters, but increased yield parameters which was statistically similar to the application of P10T10(T6). Application of NPK resulted in a significant reduction in the values for heavy metals. Accumulation of the heavy metals (Fe, Cu, Mn and Zn) in tomato fruits was lower than the recommended maximum tolerable levels as proposed by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Application of P10T10(T6) is therefore recommended for the growth and yield of tomato in the agro-ecological zone without adversely increasing the heavy metal composition of the fruit.
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