International Journal of Agricultural Research and Reviews

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Assessments of dust induced crop nutrient (NPK) and heavy metal (Cd, Pb, Ni, Zn, Cu) deposition in Urban Agriculture of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Zikrullah Safi, Mohammad Hamid Usmankhail and Farid Ahmad Sherzai




Accepted 4th March, 2020.


Kabul, capital city of Afghanistan where urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) is a major contributor to local livelihood strategies but like in many Central Asian countries at the same time a centre for heavy industry with poorly controlled emissions of heavy metals. In an effort to quantify dust inputs into agriculture, this study aimed at collecting during a 12-month period dust induced major crop nutrients(nitrogen N, phosphorus P, and potassium K, and heavy metals (cadmium Cd, lead Pb, nickel Ni, zinc Zn, and copper Cu) deposition in the city’s UPA areas. The results showed that total dust precipitation dominated in April (12.5%) and July (12.1%) and was lowest in October, November (2.7%) and January (5.5 %). Across the year, Macrorian farm (MF)received the highest amount of dust (1,823 kg ha-1) followed by Charah-e-Abdulhaq farm (CF) with 1,455 kg ha-1, Guzargah farm (GF) with1,308 kg ha-1,Qala-e-Wazir farm (QF) with 2,001 kg ha-1, and Agriculture College farm (AF)with 1,000 kg ha-1. NPK raised serious environmental concerns due to total N abundance in dust during July (14.50%) followed by April (13.92%). P2O5 is second in terms of pollution by high concentration in dust during April (13.56%) followed by July (13.20%). Cd concentration was BDL in all farms. The amount of Pb, Ni, Cu, Zn, were higher in QF by (95.73%), (84.11%), (90.45).and (87.50%),respectively. The data show the strong seasonal variation in dust load for Kabul but also that heavy metal deposition in the dust is a serious concern for the city’s inhabitants. This will require political action.


Keywords: Aerosol dust, Crop nutrient (NPK), Heavy metal, Kabul urban area, Kabul, Afghanistan.