Assessment of Soil Fertility Management Practices and Their Constraints in Different Geographic Locations of Nepal
Abstract: A farmers’ field survey was conducted in 2009 to evaluate soil fertility management practices and their constraints in certain hill and valley farming systems of Nepal. Thirty households from Okharpouwa village development committee (VDC), Nuwakot and thirty households from Fulbari VDC, Chitwan districts were surveyed using semi-structured questionnaires. In addition, key informants’ interview, checklist survey, observation in the field and documentation of the individual cases were carried out during this research. The study revealed that farm yard manure (FYM) was the major source of nutrients, although the use of poultry manure, goat manure, green manure and chemical fertilizers was also common. We realized that the management of FYM and that of other types of organic manure in the manure pit and in the field was not efficient in conserving nutrients. Similarly, farmers preferred the continuous cultivation of cereal or commercial crops, without mixing the crops or rotating with legumes, the sliced terrace risers in hills, which constrained better production in hills and valleys of Nepal. The specific problems in hills included erosion and leaching of nutrients, soil acidification, while those of valley lands included the imbalanced use of fertilizers, intensive cropping, and crop failure due to improper management.