Research on the rice crop has proved efficiency of fertiliser application by 100% when micronutrients are applied onto the fields. Evidence to this is the crop yield on the trial plots established by AfrII and farmers at Doho rice Irrigation Scheme in Butaleja District. The different fertilisers applied on these trial plots are nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Zinc (Zn), Manganese (Mn), Boron (B), sulphur (S) and a commercial micronutrient fertiliser Elfert-F.
Micronutrients have been reported to enhance uptake efficiency of NPK, improving rice grain yields, profit margins, grain nutritional quality and disease tolerance. For instance, Sulphur, Zinc, Copper, Magnesium, Calcium, Boron, Iron and Manganese applied in combination rather than individual micronutrients have been reported to increase yields of rice, maize, wheat, beans and potato in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and Mozambique by 20-70% above the yields realised with NPK alone. This is yet to be the similar experience for Uganda.
The Africa Innovations Institute and partners on the Rice ENRICH (Enhancing rice markets in Uganda through smart micronutrient fertilisation) Project are currently engaged in research to prove how efficient application of fertiliser can be on rice, thus improving yield production. The Project identifies and integrates science based innovative SmartFert strategies and agronomic practices to lift rice yields through intense stakeholder involvement.