Accepted 27th April, 2017
Farmers heavily rely on inorganic sources of fertilizers to replenish their farmlands, which in turn increase production and management cost further with subsidies removal. The cost and environmental implications of these inorganic fertilizers on farmlands calls for innovative technologies for alternate options to sustain soil fertility. The goal for this study therefore was to ascertain the best alternative means of sustaining yields of three improved CSIR-Crops Research Institute of Ghana maize varieties if not increase it and the economic implications using effluents from an aquaponics-based food production system. To achieve this, an on-station study was conducted using effluents from aquaponics-based food production system. The treatments were laid in a 3×3 factorial experiment in a randomized complete block design of maize varieties (Obatanpa, Omankwa and Aburohemaa) and effluents (absolute control, 2L/hill pond water and a combination of half rates of pond water and composted poultry manure recommended). Overall grain yield, cob number, plant height, chlorophyll content varied significantly (P≤ 0.05) due to the application of the treatments. Grain yield of 4 t/ha, 3 t/ha and 2 t/ha was realized for Obantanpa maize variety under pond water and composted poultry manure combination, pond water only and control respectively as compared to the potential yield of 4.6t/ha for the Obatanpa variety. Economic analysis proved that application of freely available effluents in an aquaponics-based food production system did not only increase maize yields to about 50% over the control but also reduced total production costs; thereby leading to improved farmer income and food security.
Keywords: Aquaponics-based food system; effluents; maize