Combined application of biofertilizers and inorganic nutrients improves sweet potato yields
Sweet potato [Ipomoea batatas (L) Lam] yields currently stand at 4.5 t ha−1 on smallholder farms in Uganda, despite the attainable yield (45–48 t ha−1) of NASPOT 11 cultivar comparable to the potential yield (45 t ha−1) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). On-farm field experiments were conducted for two seasons in the Mt Elgon High Farmlands and Lake Victoria Crescent agro-ecological zones in Uganda to determine the potential of biofertilizers, specifically arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), to increase sweet potato yields (NASPOT 11 cultivar). Two kinds of biofertilizers were compared to different rates of phosphorus (P) fertilizer when applied with or without nitrogen (N) and potassium (K). The sweet potato response to treatments was variable across sites (soil types) and seasons, and significant tuber yield increase (p 30 t ha−1. The results also show that to realize significance of AMF in nutrient depleted soils, starter nutrients should be included.