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The Role of Organic Matter in Tropical Soil Productivity

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A survey on the role of soil organic matter (SOM) in tropical soil productivity was carried out with the objective of highlighting on the effects and benefits of organic matter on soil biophysical chemical properties and yield of crops in the tropics. It was revealed that tropical soils are inherently low in fertility due to predominance of kaolinitic clays. The soils are low in CEC, OM, available P and base saturation. Inorganic fertilizers are scarce and costly in addition to negative effects on soil causing acidification and induced micronutrients deficiencies. Organic matter contain a wide range of macro and micro nutrients. On mineralization, these nutrients are released, in addition to contributing of organic matter to the soil. This manure also improves physical properties and ultimately increase crop yield on a sustainable basis.
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  • Department of Agronomy (Crop and Soil Science), Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
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