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DOI: 10.1515/cerce-2017-0015 Original Article

Available online: www.uaiasi.ro/CERCET_AGROMOLD/
Print ISSN 0379-5837; Electronic ISSN 2067-1865
Cercetări Agronomice în Moldova
Vol. L , No. 2 (170) / 2017: 57-72



*E-mail: kevineifediyi@yahoo.ca

Received: Feb. 16, 2017. Revised: Apr. 29, 2017. Accepted: May 12, 2017. Published online: June 30, 2017

ABSTRACT. Soils of the southern Guinea hectare). The result of the study indicated
savannah zone of Nigeria are low in organic that using the highest level of application of
matter content, inherently infertile due to NPK fertilizer, neem seed cake and their
intensive weathering and leaching caused by combinations significantly (p<0.05)
high temperature and rainfall. A field increased the growth of sesame plants, in the
experiment was conducted at the Teaching 2 years of study. However, the 100 kg ha-1 of
and Research Farm of the University of NPK and 3 tha-1 and their combinations
Ilorin, during the 2013 and 2014 cropping gave the highest yield and yield components
seasons, to determine the effect of neem of sesame during the period of study. The
seed cake and NPK fertilizer on the result of the study revealed that using high
performance of sesame crop (Ex Sudan cv). levels of NPK, neem seed cake and their
Treatments consisted of three levels of NPK combinations favoured vegetative growth at
fertilizer 20:10:10, applied at 0, 100 and the expense of seed formation. Farmers are
200 kg ha-1 and neem seed cake (NSC), therefore encouraged to use organic and
applied at 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 t ha-1. The inorganic fertilizer moderately to prevent
experiment was laid out in a 3 x 5 factorial excessive vegetative growth of sesame.
arrangement replicated thrice. Data were
collected on soil parameters (some physical Keywords: sesame; inorganic and
and chemical properties), plant growth organic fertilizers; vegetative growth; yield.
parameters (plant height, number of leaves
and leaf area) and yield components
(number of capsules per plant, weight of
seeds per plant and weight of seeds per

1 Department of Agronomy, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

2 Department of Crop Science, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma Nigeria
3 Department of Crop Protection, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria


INTRODUCTION max) produces a well-balanced animal

feed (Ram et al., 1990).
Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.), The practice in Nigeria of soil
also known as beniseed in West fertility restoration is the use of bush
Africa, sim-sim in East Africa, is an fallow system, but due to the
oil producing crop belonging to the reduction in fallow period from seven
Pedaliaceae family, grown in both to two years, this method is no longer
tropical and sub-tropical regions of sustainable and the use of animal
Africa, Asia and Latin America manure, compost, crop by-products
(Haruna, 2011) and to some extent in and green manure has become
Russia for edible oil and animal feed important (Vanlauwe et al., 2002).
(Tunde-Akintunde and Akintunde, Soils will be mined by repeated
2007). In Nigeria, sesame is cultivated cropping without the addition of
in the savanna zone, where it is organic or inorganic inputs
regarded as a crop with high (Waddington, 2003).
economic potentials, both as raw The use of neem seed cake,
material for industry and reliable which is a form of organic manure,
foreign exchange earner (Alegbejo et has become imperative. Neem
al., 2003). Hence attention has been (Azadirachta indica) seed cake
focused on the crop, and this has (residue of neem seed after oil
resulted in an increase in area of extraction), when added to the soil,
production (Umar et al.,2014). In not only improves the soil with
addition, the demand for its seeds has organic matter, but also lowers
made it the third largest export nitrogen losses by inhibiting
commodity crop after oil and cocoa nitrification. It increases the yield of
(Theobroma cacao), in terms of crops on the long term, an excellent
foreign exchange earned in Nigeria soil conditioner and has no negative
(FAO, 2012; Umar et al., 2014). effect on the environment
Sesame oil is a raw material used in (Lokanadhan et al., 2012). The seed
the production of paints, soaps, cake also contains nitrogen (2 - 5%),
cosmetics, perfumes, insecticides, phosphorus (0.5 - 1.0%), potassium (1
canned sardine and canned beef, as - 2%), calcium (0.5 - 3%) and
well as for pharmaceutical and ethno magnesium (0.3 -1%) (Radwanksi and
botanical uses (RMRDC, 2004; Wickens, 1981). Neem seed cake, as a
Haruna and Abimiku, 2012). It is a form of organic manure on
good source of minerals and vitamins, decomposition, promotes an increase
such as calcium and phosphorous and in soil microbial communities and this
the seed cake after oil extraction is an in turn will affect the growth and
excellent high-protein feed for poultry yield of crops. The combined use of
and livestock (Malik et al., 2003). neem seed cake, that is a form of
Moreover, the addition of sesame to organic manure, and a inorganic
high lysine meal of soybean (Glycine fertilizer will increase nutrient use


efficiency and reduce environmental to evaluate the effects of neem seed

stress (Bationo, 2008). Neem seed cake (NSC) and NPK fertilizer on the
cake mixed with urea fertilizer growth and yield of sesame.
significantly improves efficiency of
fertilizer utilization in crop production MATERIALS AND METHODS
by gradual release of nitrogen to crops
thereby increasing the fertility of the Site description
soil (Ketkar, 1983). In addition, The study was conducted during the
combined application of organic and 2013 and 2014 cropping seasons, at the
Teaching and Research Farm of the
inorganic fertilizer has lasting effects
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
on nutrients and physical properties of (8o48'N, 4o58’E and 307 m above sea
soil than when either source is used level) in a southern Guinea savannah zone
alone (Bationo, 2008).  of Nigeria. The site was a 2 years fallow
Sesame is an important crop, land, that had been cropped to maize (Zea
among rural farmers, who practice mays) and cassava (Manihot esculenta)
low input agriculture, which often for 2 years, prior to the establishment of
results in low yield. In Nigeria, the experiment. Physico-chemical
sesame is cultivated by smallholder properties of the soil before and after
farmers (USAID, 2002)  and the area cropping are summarized in Table 1.
Meteorological data for the 2 years
under cultivation has remained very
of study were obtained from the Lower
low, due to absence of high yielding Niger River Basin Development
varieties and poor cultural practices Authority, Ilorin, and are presented in
used by peasant farmers. There is a Table 2.
need forintegrated use of neem seed
cake, a form of organic manure, Experimental design
which is made up of both macro and The experimental design was a
micro nutrients and also has the randomized complete block, fitted into a
3 x 5 factorial scheme, which consisted of
ability of releasing nutrients slowly,
three levels of NPK fertilizer 20:10:10
and inorganic fertilizer, which on the (0, 100 and 200 kg/ha) and five levels of
other hand has concentrated nutrients, neem seed cake (0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 t/ha),
that are released very fast, which will replicated thrice.
help to bridge this yield gap. The
objective of this study was, therefore,
Table 1 - Soil properties of the experimental site before and after cropping in 2013
and 2014

Soil Percent (%) ppm cmol/kg

pH Org. C Org. Matter Total N P K C Mg Na
2013a 6.1 0.53 0.92 0.04 4.5 0.30 4.0 1.0 0.2
2013b 6.2 1.02 1.76 0.14 5.6 0.35 6.0 1.5 0.4
2014 6.2 0.80 1.38 0.11 4.3 0.29 4.3 1.2 0.3
a. Before initial cropping; b. End of first year cropping


Table 2 - Meteorological data in 2013 and 2014

Rainfall Temperature Temperature
Months (mm) (oC) 2013 (oC) 2014
2013 2014 Min. Max Min. Max 2013 2014
January 0.5 6.3 19.4 34.2 20.6 34.5 81 81
February 39.2 34.2 22.7 34.8 20.7 35.3 81 82
March 39.0 71.0 24.2 35.6 23.8 34.8 81 81
April 181.8 321.4 23.6 32.3 22.5 32.7 81 81
May 81.8 163.8 22.7 31.5 22.7 39.6 81 81
June 132.9 154.4 20.9 34.2 21.9 30.4 80 81
July 107.3 82.1 21.8 28.0 21.9 29.6 80 81
August 17.7 94.9 21.4 27.8 21.3 27.5 80 80
September 202.5 391.6 21.5 29.2 21.2 28.5 80 80
October 154.3 259.4 21.7 31.0 21.7 31.6 80 81
November 0.0 0.0 23.4 31.5 22.7 32.5 83 81
December 11.4 0.0 19.4 33.5 19.4 33.2 82 82
Mean 80.8 131.6 21.9 32.0 21.7 32.5 81 81

Land preparation and planting terminal point using a measuring tape.

The land was ploughed and The number of leaves of the five-tagged
harrowed before mapping out was plants was visually assessed by counting
done. The experiment comprised of the green leaves, while the leaf area was
15 treatments, which were replicated assessed by using the dry weight method
thrice. The size of each plot was 2 m x 5 m, as described by Rhoads and Bloodworth
with 1 m alleyway between the plots and (1964). 
replicates. NSC was applied to the soil
one week before sesame seeds (cv Ex Yield and yield components
Sudan) were sown by drilling and the The yield and yield components of
plants were later thinned at a spacing of sesame assessed were: number of
20 x 50 cm. Weed control and fertilizer capsules per plant, seed weight per plant
application. Weed control was carried out and total yield per ha. Number of capsules
by hoe weeding at 3 and 6 weeks after per plant and this was determined by
planting (WAP) and NPK 20:10:10 counting the number of capsules per plant
fertilizer was applied at 3 WAP, using at harvesting. The seed weight per plant
the side band placement method. was determined by harvesting all the
capsules in the five-tagged plants, sun
Data collection dried and shelled to get the mean yield per
Data collected on growth and yield plant. The yield per hectare was
indicators during the study include: extrapolated from the seed weight per plant.

Growth indicators Data analysis

The plant height of the five-tagged The data collected were subjected to
plants was assessed by measuring the analysis of variance (ANOVA) using
stem from the base of the plant to the Genstat 12 statistical package and their


means were separated by using the least (Eleusine coracana). Eifediyi et al.
significant difference (LSD), at 5% (2016) also reported that the use of
probability level, based on the work of mulch (a form of organic manure) and
Steele and Torrie (1980). NPK fertilizer improved the growth
and yield of sesame in a southern
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Guinea savannah zone of Nigeria.
Gaur et al. (1992) had posited that
Soil analysis neem seed cake is a rich source of
The results of the soil analysis nutrients, which increases the carbon
presented in Table 1 indicated that the content and improves soil physical
soil of the experimental site was properties, it is quick acting, provides
slightly acidic, throughout the slow and steady nourishment, thereby
experimental period, and very low in increasing the yield of crops.
most of the plant nutrients evaluated,
except potassium, implying low Meteorological data
fertility status. There was, however, The month of September
an improvement after the first year’s experienced the highest rainfall, while
cropping, which may be attributed to the months of November, December
the residual effect of the NSC and January experienced the lowest
application. The organic matter rainfall during the 2 years of study.
content was low at the onset of the This fluctuation in rainfall and
experiment, but at the end of the first temperature has adverse effect on
cropping season it was moderate and crop growth and development and
low at the end of the second cropping often brings about variation in crop
season, hence poor nutrient status. yield in different seasons. Sivakumar
Salako (2003) had reported that the et al. (2005) and IPCC (2007) had
southern Guinea savannah zone of reported that the major cause for yield
Nigeria has fragile top soil, which fluctuations in agriculture across the
contains large proportion of sand and world is related to weather and
low level of organic matter. Jones climatic effects, such as erratic
and Wild (1975) had also asserted that rainfall, which severely affects
the soils of the southern Guinea agriculture, especially in developing
savannah are inherently low in countries, where irrigation facilities
fertility, cation exchange and water are not available and crop cultivation
holding capacities, due to low organic is rain fed.
matter content. Garuba and Oyinlola
(2014)  and Varalakshmi et al. (2007) Growth indicators
asserted that the use of organic and Plant height
inorganic fertilizers improved the The data on the plant height as
organic carbon, available N, P and K affected by neem seed cake and NPK
status of the soil in groundnut fertilizer at 4, 6 and 8 WAP in 2013
(Arachis hypogaea) and finger millet and 2014 are presented in Table 3.


The result shows that at the three subsequent absorption of the

sampling periods, there were assimilates, which were translocated
significant (p<0.05) differences to the different parts of the plant,
observed between the treated plots might be responsible for the increased
and the control, following NPK growth observed in the
fertilizer and neem seed cake experiment.This may be attributed to
application. The tallest plants were better availability and uptake of
observed with combined application essential nutrients present in the NPK
of NPK fertilizer and the NSC fertilizer and the neem seed cake,
amendment. The combined which were readily available to the
application ensured all round nutrient plants for absorption.
availability to the crop; the inorganic
components were readily available Number of leaves
and hence absorbed for early crop Data on the number of leaves of
growth and development, while the sesame as affected by neem seed cake
organic components of the NSC was and NPK fertilizer in 2013 and 2014
released slowly after mineralization are presented in Table 4. The result
thereby making nutrients available for shows that at the three sampling
the development of the crop. This periods of 4, 6 and 8 WAP, applying
report is in agreement with the neem seed cake at the rate of 4 t/ha
findings of Eifediyi et al. (2016), who produced the highest number of
observed that the application of leaves, which was significantly
mulches (a form of organic manure) different (p<0.05) from the other rates
and NPK fertilizer improved the plant and the control. The application of
height of sesame in Ilorin, Nigeria. 200 kg/ha of NPK fertilizer at 4 and 8
The observation was also in line with WAP produced the highest number of
the findings of Bonsu et al. (2003), leaves, but no significant difference
who reported that an increase in the was observed. At 6 WAP, applying
level of fertilizer application also 200 kg/ha of NPK fertilizer produced
resulted in an increase in the growth the highest number of leaves, which
parameters of sesame. Narkhede et al. was significantly different (p<0.05)
(2001) reported that the application of from the other rates. The combination
castor oil seed cake at 1 t/ha and of NPK fertilizer at 200 kg ha-1 and
50 kg of N was found to be the most NSC at 4 t ha-1 produced the highest
effective strategy to maximize the number of leaves across the three
productivity of sesame. Jaishankar periods of sampling, but there was
and  Wahab (2005) reported that the significant (p<0.05) interactions only
application of NPK fertilizer and at 6 WAP. The improved soil fertility
vermicompost at 5 t/ha gave the was enough for assimilate production
highest growth and yield components and hence increase in the number of
of sesame. The availability of leaves produced.
nutrients to the crop and their






The leaves are the pivot in the NPK fertilizer and NSC and their
photosynthetic processes which combinations after mineralization of
means more food was produced for the NSC and NPK fertilizer, which
translocation to different parts of the improved the physical properties of
plants. This report is in line with the the soil. The leaf area produced by the
findings of Fathy and Mohammed combined application may have
(2009), who stated that vegetative helped the plants to intercept and
production in plants increases with convert sunlight energy for assimilate
increased fertilizer level. Eifediyi et al. production; thus, intercepting light
(2016) also observed an increase in more efficiently (Caliskan et al.,
the number of leaves of sesame when 2004), because nutrients were
inorganic fertilizer and mulch was available for the plant, which were
used in a southern Guinea savannah utilized for assimilate production and
zone of Nigeria and disagreed with were later translocated to other parts
the findings of Langham  and  of the plant. This is in agreement with
Wiermeers (2006), who argued that the findings of Ayotamuno et al.
response of sesame to fertilizer (2007), who attributed the increase in
application was highest at the least leaf area due to fertilizer application,
level of fertilizer application. to a peculiar consumptive nutrient use
in the soil, due to nitrogen availability
Leaf area for absorption by the crop. This may
Data on the leaf area of sesame have been responsible for the
in 2013 and 2014 is presented in vegetative growth experienced by the
Table 5. At the three sampling periods sesame plant. The response of sesame
in 2013, using NPK at the rate of 200 to higher rate of application to leaf
kg/ha produced the largest leaf area, area maybe an indication that the
which was significantly different nutrient absorbed by the plants was
(p<0.05) from the control. Also, using utilized for cell multiplication, amino
the NSC at the rate of 4 t/ha produced acid synthesis and energy formation
the largest leaf area, which was that acted as structural compounds of
significantly different (p<0.05) from chloroplast and essential component
the control. There was also a in photosynthesis (Ng’etich et al.,
significant (p<0.05) NPK and NSC 2013). In addition, the low leaf area
interaction. A similar trend of the experienced in the control may be
observations in 2013 was recorded in attributed to nutrient deficiency,
2014. There was a significant NPK which has been reported to reduce leaf
fertilizer (p<0.05) and significant area, hence reduced surface light
NSC (p<0.05) at the three sampling interception for photosynthesis
periods, but no significant interaction (Cechin and Fumis, 2004).
at 4 and 6WAP, except at 8WAP. The
leaf area produced by the plant is a
reflection of the nutrient provision by


Yield and yield components varied by no more than ± 4% from the

The data on the yield and yield overall means as fertilizer increases.
components of sesame in 2013 and From the result, it appears that the
2014 are presented in Table 6. The number of capsules per plant
increase in the NSC application led to increased due to the increased rate of
an increase in the number of capsules fertilizer application up to certain
per plant up to 3 t/ha and decreased at level, but excess application of
4 t/ha. The application of 3 t/ha nitrogen enhanced the vegetative
produced the highest number of growth, instead of pod formation as
capsules, which were significantly reported by Pathak et al. (2002).
(p<0.05) different from the other Moreover, seed weight and plant
treatments. In the same vein, an height has been reported to have
increase in NPK fertilizer application direct effect on sesame yield in
led to an increase in the number of Nigeria (Ogunremi and Ogunbodede,
capsules up to the 100 kg ha-1 and 1986). 
decreased at 200 kg ha-1 treated plots
in 2013, but in 2014, the 200 kg ha-1 Seed weight per hectare
treated plot produced the highest The results of effects of NSC and
number of capsules, which was NPK fertilizer on seed weight per
significantly different (p<0.05) from hectare of sesame in 2013 and 2014
the control. There was also a are presented in Table 6. The seed
significant NSC and NPK fertilizer weight increased significantly
interaction (p<0.05). Study carried out (p<0.05) with increase in the rate of
at Varanasi, Ultra Pradesh, India, by NSC application up to the 3 t/ha and
Jadhav et al. (1992) showed that there declined at the 4 t/ha. Similarly, the
was no significant effect on the seed weight also increased
number of capsules per plant with the significantly (p<0.05) with increase in
application of fertilizer. This NPK fertilizer application with the
disagrees with this research, which highest recorded at 100 kg ha-1 in
showed significant response of 2013 and in 2014 the highest seed
sesame capsules to increase in the rate weight was recorded at the 200 kg ha-1,
of fertilizer application. but not significantly different from the
100 kg ha-1 applied plot. This is in line
Seed weight per plant with the works of Ojikpong et al.
The results of the seed weight (2007) and Haruna et al. (2011), who
per plant presented in Table 6 showed all observed that yield increased with
an increase in the seed weight per increased level of fertilizer
plant with increasing rates of NSC application. The higher rates of neem
and NPK fertilizer application. This seed cake and inorganic fertilizer
finding is in agreement with the produced the highest number of
findings of Duhoon et al. (2004), who capsules per plant and seed yield per
stated that seed weight per capsule plant. This can be adduced to better


availability and uptake of the should be encouraged to forestall

nutrients, which might have led to the vegetative growth at the expense of
balanced C/N ratio and increased seed formation. In addition, the
plant metabolism (Emura and application of neem seed cake alone
Hosoya, 1979). Neem seed cake and in combination with reduced rates
contains 2-5% nitrogen, 0.5 – 1% of NPK fertilizer improved soil
phosphorus, 1-2% K, 0.3 – 1% Mg properties and significantly increased
0.5 – 3% Ca (Radwanksi and the growth and yield components of
Wickens, 1981). The incorporation of sesame.
neem seed cake has the tendency of
increasing the micronutrient content
of the soil as most organic manures.
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