Resources and Nutrient Flows in Smallholders Farming System of Kumbursa Village, Ada A District, Central Ethiopia

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


Inappropriate use of available resources and low nutrient application are among the major causes behind the current low agricultural productivity in the highlands of Ethiopia. To curb soil fertility depletion in these areas, it requires quantifying of available resources that are responsible for nutrient import into and export out of the farm system. The objective of this study was therefore to assess the resources and nutrient; nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K)) flows at field and farm scales in Kumbursa village, Ada’a district central Ethiopia. Through stratified random sampling three farm wealth groups (rich, medium and poor) were distinguished based on farm size, number of oxen and grain stocks. From a total of 258 households 120 Households were interviewed using structured questionnaire. Soil, organic fertilizer sources, crop yield and crop residue samples were collected and analyzed for their nutrient content. The SPSS software and excel have been used for data analysis. The inflow resources are chemical fertilizer and animal feed concentrate while the outflow resources were crop yields and manure. At farm scale the amount of resources and nutrients flows into a farm system were more than the outflow of resources and nutrients from a farm system. The nutrient balance for animal production system and household were positive. This study also indicates that total input to farm fields of all three macronutrients does not counterbalance nutrient removal through crop yields and crop residues. The nutrient balance for crop production sub system was -93.46 kg N, 5.8 kg P and -97.47 kg K/ha/yr. The study clearly identifies the need for the development of integrated nutrient management systems to reduce the high rates of nutrient depletion. Three possible measures can be suggested first reduce crop residues removal from crop fields and improve livestock feed through improved forage management. Secondly, introduction of efficient energy sources to reduce use of cattle dung for fuel and consequently increasing manure availability for field application. Thirdly, application of more chemical fertilizer to the field, Key words: soil fertility, resource flow, nutrient flow, nutrient balance, nutrient mining Sustainable agricultural production.



Soil Fertility, Resource Flow, Nutrient Flow, Sustainable Agricultural Production, Nutrient Mining