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AGRI 2023

NPK fertilizer requirements for Jatropha zeyheri indigenous tea under greenhouse conditions

Happy Bango, Speaker at Agriculture Conferences
University of Limpopo, South Africa
Title : NPK fertilizer requirements for Jatropha zeyheri indigenous tea under greenhouse conditions


Jatropha zeyheri is an indigenous crop to South Africa, which contains tea brewing and medicinal properties commonly utilized by local communities in rural areas of South Africa. Indigenous teas have been receiving much attention due to their health benefits. Domestication and commercialization of indigenous herbal teas have gained popularity in recent years. However, domestication of J. zeyheri will require optimum NPK fertiliser mixture to improve yield and quality. Therefore, the study was intended to determine whether different fertiliser application rates would optimize yield parameters of J. zeyheri tea under microplot conditions. At two-leaf stage, J. zeyheri seedlings were transplanted into 25 cm diameter plastic pots. Each pot was filled with heated-pasteurised sandy soil and Hygromix at 3:1 (v/v) ratio and placed in a spacing of 0.30 m × 0.30 m inter-and intra-row spacing. Treatments, viz., 0, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 g of NPK 2:3:2 (22) fertiliser mixtures were arranged in a randomized complete block design, with five replications. Treatments were initiated a week after transplanting, and 130 days after that, treatments had highly significant effects on leaf width, contributing 66% in TTV, whereas significant effects were reported on vine length, stem diameter, leaf length and dry root mass contributing 61, 67, 68 and 49% in TTV, respectively. NPK fertilizer rates did not affect chlorophyll content, NDVI, dry shoot mass, number of leaves and leaf area index. Jatropha zeyheri yield variables when exposed to increasing fertilizer rates displayed positive quadratic relations. Use of fertilizers had setbacks when applied inappropriately leading to inconsistent results. However, determining optimum fertilizer requirement for J. zeyheri was a strategical solution for inappropriate application. Jatropha zeyheri fertilizer requirements were optimized at 3.30 g fertilizer/plant, which shows that J. zeyheri requires a minimum amount of NPK fertilizer to stimulate growth.

Keywords: botanicals, fertilizer, Jatropha zeyheri, primary nutrients, tea yield


Mr Happy Bango hold a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Plant Production) and Master of Science specialising in Horticultural Sciences both completed at the University of Limpopo, South Africa in the academic year 2016 and 2019, respectively. Mr Bango has a great experience in the field of Horticulture and Agronomy (field crops). Mr Bango hold a certificate in Project Management: Principles and Practices completed at the University of Stellenbosch Business School - Executive Development in 2021. Mr Bango has completed writing his PhD thesis, and currently awaiting for assessment results from examiners. In 2019, Mr Bango worked at the University of Limpopo, Limpopo Agro-food Technology Station (LATS) as an intern. After term, he joined DST-NRF internship program which placed him at the University of Venda in South Africa. Mr Bango worked as a research assistant at Westfalia Fruit Estate, Technological Research Unit for a year. Currently, he is based at the University of Limpopo working as an Operational Officer of a centre of excellence called Limpopo Agro-Food Technology Station. Mr Bango is an author and has published several articles in peer reviewed journals. Through his research work, he was awarded NRF Scarce Skills Bursary and TIA SAB Seed fund in the academic year, 2021 and 2023, respectively.

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