Studies on Efficacy of Sewage Sludge as an Agricultural Supplement for the Assessment of Growth Performance of Brinjal (Solanum melongena var. Local long)
F. A. Lone, Sabia Zaffar, Nousheen Qureshi, A. Q. Rather and N. A. Kirmani
Journal Title:Nature Environment and Pollution Technology
Application of sewage sludge in agriculture is gaining momentum in many countries and is considered as an efficient waste management option. Sewage sludge is enriched with organic matter, nutrients and trace metals that can improve plant growth and soil fertility. In the present study an experiment was carried out wherein different concentrations of sewage sludge alone and in combination with different recommended doses of fertilizers (RDF) were used to assess the growth performance of brinjal (Solanum melongena var. Local long), a commonly cultivated vegetable of Kashmir valley. The field experiment was carried out during summer (Kharif) 2010 and involved five treatments (T1 = Recommended dose of fertilizers; T2 = 100% Sewage Sludge; T3 = 75% Sewage Sludge + 25% RDF; T4 = 50% Sewage Sludge + 50% RDF; T5 = 50% Sewage Sludge + 25% RDF) each with three replications. The data regarding chemical analysis of sewage sludge and pre and post experiment soil samples with respect to pH, EC, OC, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cd, Ni, Cr, Pb is within permissible limits. The highest yield of brinjal was recorded in T1 (327.67q/ha), followed by 290.21q/ha in T4. Fruit quality parameters viz. carbohydrate and protein contents did not exhibit any significant variation between various treatments. On the other hand ascorbic acid content of fruit, foliar photosynthetic pigments (total chlorophyll) and morphological parameters recorded different values in different treatments. Results revealed that application of sewage sludge did not have any adverse impact on fruit quality and can be used for the improvement of plant growth and soil quality. By utilizing sewage sludge in agriculture, environmental degradation can be minimized.