Effects of Integrating Deficit irrigation and Carbonate Foliar Fertilizers into the System of Rice Intensification on Growth and Yield: A Case study of Mkindo Irrigation Scheme, Tanzania


Individually, the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), deficit irrigation and foliar fertilizer application have proved to be effective in enhancing rice growth and yield, however, the information on their combined effects is limitedly known. Therefore, a study was conducted to evaluate the effects of integrating deficit irrigation and carbonate foliar fertilizer (Lithovit) application into SRI on rice growth and yield. This study was conducted in Mkindo Irrigation scheme in Mvomero, Morogoro, Tanzania during the dry and wet season (October 2020 to June 2021). The experiment was laid out in a split plot design with three levels of irrigation for main plots which were 100% of the irrigation water requirement (40mm) imitating the SRI
alternate wetting and drying pattern and induced deficit irrigation applied at 80% and 50% of
the irrigation water requirement as IR100, IR80 and IR50, respectively. Irrigation was carried out
at the appearance of soil cracks in IR100. The sub-plot fertilizer treatments were five in number
namely: (A) Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) and Urea (normal practice), (B) DAP, Urea and
100% of recommended foliar fertilizer (Lithovit Standard), (C) DAP and 50% (Lithovit and
Urea), (D) Lithovit Standard only and (E) no fertilizer. The data was analyzed using IBM SPSS
version 20 at 5% probability level in order to ascertain if any significant differences between
the various treatment combinations existed. Water application IR80 had the best performance
in terms of growth and yield. Among fertilizer applications, the highest yield was attained by
treatment B with 11.09 t/ha and 6.74 t/ha in the dry and wet season respectively. Treatment
E had the least yield of 7.26 t/ha and 4.10 t/ha in the dry and wet season respectively. Foliar
treatments performed considerably well as Lithovit supplies higher concentrations of carbon
dioxide thereby aiding photosynthesis hence increasing crop growth and yield.