Soil Acidity and Its Management Options in Western Ethiopia: Review

Bikila Takala


Soil acidity has become a serious threat to crop production in most highlands of Ethiopia in general and in the western part of the country in particular. An earlier study estimated that about 41% of arable lands of Ethiopia are affected by soil acidity/Al3+ toxicity. But recently the status of most soil in western Ethiopia were became acidic though the degree varied from location to location; severely limiting crop production. In western Ethiopia acidification occurs simultaneously with other conditions including eroded topsoil and depleted organic matter, depleted nutrients, and alternating drought stress and high rainfall which is high enough to leach appreciable amounts of exchangeable basic cations. In moisture-stressed areas, acidification can also be caused by continuous application of acid-forming chemical fertilizers. As low pH affects the availability of nutrients particularly that of phosphorus and other macronutrients, correction of the low pH through liming, and/or application of organic materials is critical for sustainable management of these soils. Agricultural liming is proved a good way of correcting soil pH along with supplying calcium to the soil. Another potential organic amendment sources in coffee producing areas of western Ethiopia were coffee pulp and husk, by products from wet and dry coffee processing respectively. These coffee by-products are utilized in other coffee producing countries as soil amendments especially in highly weathered soils. While in Western Ethiopia enormous quantities are either dumped into streams or burnt in big piles, with contributions to environmental hazards. Therefore, farmers should be encouraged to increase productivity of the acidic soils by using lime and organic amendments which is easily available such as composted coffee wastes (coffee husk and pulp).

Keywords: Soil acidity, lime, organic amendment, coffee husk and pulp

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/9-10-04

Publication date:October 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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