Review for fermentation on the rate of plant nutrient management practices in Ethiopia
The use of fermented plant extracts (FPE) as a top dress in crop production is a natural process that can provide plant nutrients and suppress diseases. However, there is scanty information on the use of plant extracts and the bulky of it is not documented. This study aimed at determining the effectiveness of fermentation in extracting plant nutrients from plant tissues for use as top dress in crop production. Materials from Lantana (Lantana camara, L), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L) and Tithonia (Tithonia diversifolia, G), common plants that are locally available in most agricultural areas were investigated. A complete randomized design (CRD) was used to set up the experiments in the laboratory. Tender shoots and leaves of these plants were fermented in water and the levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK) contained were measured at intervals of 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 days. The concentration of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) yeasts and the pH were also determined at each interval. Standard foliar feeds (Agro-Feed and Power Booster) commonly used by farmers were used as control. The results demonstrated that Lantana and stinging nettle were not significantly different in the percentage of N released. Phosphorous was highest in stinging nettle at 5.26%, Tithonia had 5.12% while Lantana had the lowest at 4.48%. However potassium was highest in Tithonia at 4.38%, stinging nettle had 3.64%, while Lantana had the lowest at 3.63%. There were also high significant differences in concentration of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Yeast and pH at p < 0.05. The findings of the study showed that nutrients can be extracted from plant materials by fermentation although in less quantities as compared to commercial foliar feeds.