Acacia nilotica is multipurpose nitrogen fixing tree legume and commonly found in Africa, Asia and Australia. Most of the Acacia species are local to Africa and others belong to the subcontinent, especially in India and Pakistan. It has the ability to withstand biotic and abiotic stresses, however extremely defenseless to frost, particularly in the early phases of development. A. nilotica provide gums, silage, tannins, wood and also used as medicinal plant. In Pakistan, it is utilized as a multipurpose tree and great quality of wood is obtained. The decayed organic material which is used as natural synthetic manure is called as compost. Compost improves the growth of the plant as it helps the seedling to assimilate more supplements from the soil media. There are different methods to prepare the compost and commonly used material are farm yard manure (FYM) and litter. Variety of microorganism are present in the environment which are involved in the decomposition and enhance the compost making process.
Compost is a commonly used soil ameliorator in forestry and agriculture practices. In nursery raising preferably a good quality and fully rottened compost is used as the growing media for good development and growth of the plant under natural field conditions. The benefit of utilizing mature compost is that it is light and has a substantial cation trade limit. Compost improves the soil properties and ultimately helps in the growth of plants. Good quality of compost plays an important role in the annihilation of pathogens and weeds. The nursery treated with fertilizer and compost produces healthy and vigorous stock. Seedlings produced in this type of soil develop an efficient fibrous root system, which can improve the plant growth by uptaking more nutrients and water.
Due to the exploding population of Pakistan, demand of wood and wood products is increasing and ultimately deforestation rate is increasing. In such conditions, it is need of the time to grow multipurpose trees with a short rotation period. A. nilotica is one of the fast-growing agro forestry tree species and can grow in dry areas with biotic and abiotic stresses.
Litter has its own importance in the forest ecosystem. The litter brings much needed changes in the biological and chemical characteristics of the soil and balances the nutrient in the soil. Application of compost to soil also play a very important role especially in plant height, diameter and primary branches for better tree growth. It conserves moisture during rainy season to increase the availability of water for reforestation. Composting is a natural process in which living decomposable waste becomes unsoiled.
Against different plant pathogens which are harmful to plants, biological control is used to eliminate the pathogen. For proper growth and development there must be mature compost for the use of organic fertilizer. The term “mature” may also refer to the degree of phytotoxicity of compost due to the presence of low molecular weight organic phenols and acids. The application of compost at early stage can damage the plant health and ultimately the sensitive plants may die. The immature compost ishot, has bad odors, has a wide C / N ratio and a huge ammonium content. The mature compost is without a bad odor and has a fine texture and dark color. Composting can provide macronutrients such as nitrogen (N) phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) which are directly available to plants, but micronutrients can also be provided. A wide range of micronutrients can be added, depending on the compost feedstock, including copper (Cu), Fe, zinc (Zn). These are different elements that are significant for plant growth and are not easily available to plants.
The main problem of Pakistan and African agriculture is the damage of soil fertility due to erosion. Waterlogging, salinity and low organic matter is also a major problem of Pakistan agriculture. According to a different scientist, annual mean soil depletion in African countries due to deforestation is high as compared with other countries, which may cause damage to crop production and can decline from 22 to 32% over the next 8 years. To meet the food needs of the growing population, it is essential to maintain the soil fertility of agricultural lands by using different chemical fertilizers. On the other hand, the use of various chemical fertilizers is harmful on agricultural crops. Green manuring is an option for farmers to increase the soil fertility by ploughing standing crops for enhancement of growth trees. We can also use the seedlings of some trees for green manuring.
A.nilotica is very successful for afforestation, reforestation and agroforestry practices in Pakistan India and Bangladesh because of its fast growth, short rotation, non-palatability to grazing animals and in particular has the ability to grow on poor soils. Consideration will be given to the cultivation of this species and there is an option for farmers to select the species which they prefer. In different countries like Bangladesh and India A.nilotica is widely used in the farmlands and as linear plantations both in public and private plantation plans.
In the present study, we have checked the effect of on growth performance of A. nilotica. It will be helpful for the local and progressive farmers to get maximum timber yield from the A. nilotica. It will also be helpful for growth crop production because using of compost for A.nilotica will also improve crop growth and increase the yield potential of the crops.
This article is collectively authored by Hafiz Muhammad Uzair Saqib1*, Irfan Ahmad1, Muhammad Asif1, Haroon ur rashid1, Ghulam Muhae-Ud-Din2. 1: Department of Forestry and Range Management, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. 2: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.