Influence of sawdust biochar application on the growth, morphological characters and yield of four varieties of sesame ( Sesamum indicum L.)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Agronomy, University of Ilorin, Nigeria

2 Department of Crop Science, Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria


Purpose Sawdust, an organic residue abounds in many parts of Nigeria; they often block drainage channels, sometimes burnt to further aggravate the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, it can be harnessed as soil amendment.
Method A field experiment was carried out at the Teaching and Research Farm, University of Ilorin, Nigeria during the 2018 and 2019 wet seasons to evaluate the performance of four sesame varieties using sawdust biochar. The experiment was laid out in a split-plot design, replicated four times. The main plots consisted of four varieties of Sesame (E-8, Ex-Sudan, NCRI-Ben001M, and NCRI-Ben002M), the subplots were sawdust biochar (0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 Mgha-1). Data were collected on water holding capacity, plant height, and number of leaves, leaf area index, and yield per hectare. Data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and means were separated using new Duncan Multiple Range test at 5% level of probability.
Results Results showed significant (Ƿ ˂0.05) effects of variety, and sawdust biochar rates on plant height, number of leaves, leaf area index, crop growth rate and yield per hectare. Variety NCRI-Ben001M gave a yield of 670 kgha-1 at the application rate of 15 tha-1 sawdust biochar (676 kgha-1) compared to the average yield of sesame in Nigeria.
Conclusion Farmers are therefore encouraged to cultivate NCRI-Ben001M variety and use saw dust biochar at the rate of 15 Mg ha-1 for optimum yield.


  • The zone of cultivation of sesame in Nigeria is the Guinea savannah. The soil of the area is low in plant nutrients due to reduced fallow period. No meaningful cultivation of crops can be done without the use of inorganic fertilizer. But inorganic fertilizers are expensive and can cause environmental imbalance.
  • The yield of sesame is low due to poor soil fertility, use of unimproved varieties and inappropriate cultural practices.
  • Abundant organic wastes such as sawdust abound in the area of cultivation. These materials block drainages, sometimes burnt and this further aggravates the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But sawdust can be converted into biochar.
  • Biochar is rich in physical and chemical properties which can be used as soil amendment.
  • The use of biochar improved the water holding capacity with about 70% and 72% in the first and second year, respectively.
  • Variety NCRI-Ben001M produced superior growth and morphological attributes and gave a yield of 670 kgha-1 and the application rate of 15 tha-1 sawdust biochar (676 kgha-1) which is higher than the average yield of sesame in Nigeria.


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