Towards understanding factors that govern fertilizer response in casave: lessons from East Africa

A.M. van Fermont, P.A. Tittonell, Y. Baguma, P. Ntawuruhunga, K.E. Giller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Information on fertilizer response in cassava in Africa is scarce. We conducted a series of on-farm and on-station trials in two consecutive years to quantify yield responses of cassava to mineral fertilizer in Kenya and Uganda and to evaluate factors governing the responses. Average unfertilized yields ranged from 4.2 to 25.7 t ha-1 between sites and years. Mineral fertilizer use increased yields significantly, but response to fertilizer was highly variable (-0.2 to 15.3 t ha-1). Average yield response per kg applied nutrient was 37, 168 and 45 and 106, 482 and 128 kg fresh yield per kg of applied N, P and K, respectively in 2004 and 2005. Fertilizer response was governed by soil fertility, rainfall and weed management, but was not influenced by variety, pest and disease pressure and harvest age. Relative N and K yields were positively correlated to SOC and exchangeable K, while response to fertilizer decreased on more fertile soils. Still, fertilizer response varied widely on low fertility soils (e.g. on soils with
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-151
JournalNutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • smallholder farms
  • varietal response
  • bacterial-blight
  • western kenya
  • boundary-line
  • yield gaps
  • soil
  • sustainability
  • phosphorus
  • management

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