Valorization of shea caterpillar droppings (Cirina butyrospermi Vuillet) in the ecological management of soil fertility in Burkina Faso
By: K. Coulibaly, A.P.K Gomgnimbou, B. Bacye, H.B. Nacro, M.P. Sedogo
Key Words: Caterpillar droppings, Chemical properties, Ecological management, Soil fertility, Burkina Faso.
Int. J. Agr. Agri. Res. 9(1), 109-116, July 2016.
Works on park lands show that shea tree is a widespread species in the fields in Burkina Faso. There are caterpillars which are rich in proteins and throw out important quantity of dejection on the soil surface. The aim of this study was to determine the amount of droppings produced by caterpillars and their chemical quality in Koumbia area. The amount of dejection was determined on small plots and expressed as amount of dry matter (DM). Chemical analyzes have focused on the major elements (C, N, P and K). Our results show an average production of 19.34 kg for an average area of 68.47 m2 under a shea tree. We also observe that the production of caterpillar droppings is a function of the shea trees density and fluctuate between 440 and 3 775 kg ha-1. The data of chemical analyzes show that caterpillar droppings have high content of carbon (477.7 g kg-1) and nitrogen (10.8 g kg-1) and low content of phosphorus (0.3 g kg-1) and potassium (0.9 g kg-1). The amounts of C and N that caterpillar droppings are likely to bring, show that they can cover between 56 and 484 % of annual loss of soil C and fully compensate exports N of major crops (cotton, maize, sorghum) of the study area. The valorization of caterpillar droppings is therefore a way of ecological management of soil fertility of shea parks. However, the C/N (44) of caterpillar droppings suggests further agronomic investigations.