Agricultural Reviews

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Agricultural Reviews, volume 41 issue 2 (june 2020) : 91-105

Soil Fertility Depletion and Its Management Options under Crop Production Perspectives in Ethiopia: A Review

Amare Aleminew, Melkamu Alemayehu
1Sirinka Agricultural Research Center, P.O. Box 74, Woldiya, Ethiopia. 
Cite article:- Aleminew Amare, Alemayehu Melkamu (2020). Soil Fertility Depletion and Its Management Options under Crop Production Perspectives in Ethiopia: A Review. Agricultural Reviews. 41(2): 91-105. doi: 10.18805/ag.R-136.
Soil is a non-renewable or finite resource and is the bank of nutrients for plant growth. Most soils in the tropical region including Ethiopia are highly weathered and infertile due to lower organic matter content and open nutrient cycling systems. These led to soil fertility depletion and crop productivity reduction in the country by different soil degradation agents. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to review soil fertility depletions and its management options under crop production perspectives in Ethiopia. The major drivers of soil fertility depletion are population pressure, land use pattern, free grazing of animals, lack of energy sources, land ownership and poor government policy problems. The major causes of soil fertility depletion are inadequate fertilizer use, complete removal of crop residues, continuous cropping systems, climate and soil types, lack of proper cropping systems and soil erosion and continuous cultivation. The promising technologies for improving soil fertility are integrated nutrient management, crop residue management, green manuring and cropping sequences, management of farmyard manure, applications of chemical fertilizers and soil amendments, agroforestry practices, applying conservation agriculture and application of soil-water conservation practices. Therefore, it needs a great attention by the community and the government to use innovative soil fertility management options to sustain soil fertility and crop productivity for the coming generations in the country forever enhancing nutrient input and recycling through following closed nutrient management systems in the cultivated lands.
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