Animal vs. plant based organic sources management in rice-wheat system: Symbiosis for the economic and social value of small holders in rural areas

Dr Amanullah Amanullah1

1The University Of Agriculture Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan

In rice-wheat system especially in South Asia the inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilizers represent the largest component of the N cycle because the N supply from soil organic manures is inadequate. The 4‰-Initiative aims to improve the organic matter content and promote carbon sequestration in soils through best management agriculture practices which are economically, environmentally and socially friendly. Maintaining organic carbon-rich soils, restoring and improving degraded agricultural lands and, in general terms, increasing the soil carbon, play an important role in addressing the three-fold challenge of food security, adaptation of food systems and people to climate change, and the mitigation of anthropogenic emissions (Paris Agreement, 2015). Therefore, we designed this study in which field experiments were conducted to assess the impact of various organic sources (OSs) viz. animal manures:  poultry, sheep and cattle manures and crop residues: onion, berseem and wheat, inorganic nitrogen (N) and the different combinations of inorganic N (urea) + OS on the economic analysis under rice-wheat system. The experiments were conducted on farmer’s fields at Batkhela (Malakand), Northwestern Pakistan, in two consecutive years 2011-12 (year one) and 2012-13 (year two). Our results revealed that gross returns (GR) ranked first for the rice when applied with sole inorganic N (urea), followed by the application of N in mixture (urea + OSs), while the control plots (no N applied) ranked in the bottom. Among the six OSs (three animal manures: poultry, sheep and cattle; three crop residues: onion, berseem and wheat), application of N in the form of poultry manure was superior in terms of higher GR. When applying 120 kg N ha-1, 75% N from urea + 25% N from OS resulted in higher GR in year one, while applying 50% N from urea + 50% N from OS produced higher GR in year two. Therefore, the combined application of N sources in the form of urea + OS can produce good performances in terms of higher GR under rice-wheat system. Integrated use of chemical fertilizers in different combination with organic manure is recommended for sustaining agricultural production under cereal based (exhaustive) system.


Dr. Amanullah is currently working as Associate Professor in the Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Crop Production Sciences, The University of Agriculture Peshawar, Pakistan. Dr. Amanullah did his PhD in Agronomy from The University of Agriculture Peshawar in 2004 & and his Post Doctorate from Dryland Agriculture Institute, WTAMU, Canyon Texas, USA in 2010.  Dr. Amanullah has published 12 books and more than 150 research papers in peer reviewed journals including 100 papers in the impact factor journals. He is the co-author of three recent books of published by FAO (1): Soil and Pulses: Symbiosis for Life (2016) (2): Unlocking the Potential of Soil Organic Carbon (2017) and (3): Soil Pollution: a hidden reality (2018). Dr. Amanullah edited three books with Intech: (1) Rice – Technology and Production (2017), (2) Nitrogen in Agriculture-Updates (2018) & (3) Corn: Production and Human Health in Changing Climate (2018). Dr. Amanullah has been awarded with three Research Productivity Awards by the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST), Islamabad in 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2015-16. Dr. Amanullah represented Pakistan in the FAO Intergovernmental technical panel on soil of Global Soil Partnership (2015-2018). Dr. Amanullah also won the first prize in the innovative research proposal competition arranged by DICE at the University of Gujarat in 2013-14.

Dr. Amanullah field of interests includes: Agronomy, Field Crops Production, Crop Physiology & Growth Analysis, Inter-Cropping & Plants Competition, Biodiversity, Crop Nutrition, Fertilizer and Water Use Efficiency, Dryland Agriculture & Drought, Organic Farming, Crops Management under Stressful Environments, Sustainable Crop, Sustainable Soil Management and Water Management, and Farmers training etc.

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