Microbial Quality of Poultry Manure and Selected Vegetables from the Korle-Bu Vegetable Farms

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Many vegetable growers in Ghana use animal manure to improve soil quality for vegetable cultivation. Manure use on vegetable farms has been implicated in most intestinal parasitic infection of vegetable consumers worldwide. This study investigated the microbial quality of poultry manure and selected vegetables from the Korle-Bu Vegetable Farms. Thirty-three (33) farmers out of the reported 76 farmers were interviewed employing a face to face interview using a structured questionnaire to ascertain manure use and management practices. All farmers interviewed were males, with majority between the ages of 21 and 40 years (54.54%) with no formal education (69.70 %). Convenient sampling was done from three farms where manure and vegetables samples were collected and tested for microbial quality. Most (85%) cultivated exotic vegetables and employed organic fertilizer (78%), mainly composted (53.85%). Manure was usually applied after transplanting of seedlings (80.71%) around the crops (50%). Laboratory analysis revealed coliforms ranged from 3.5 x 104 to 2.3 x 105cfu/g for manure samples, 1.3 x 103 to 2.0 x 103cfu/g for lettuce, 2.2 x 102 to 2.1 x 103cfu/g for carrots and 1.7 x 102 to 1.5 x 103cfu/g for green pepper. The microbial load on vegetables were within the WHO acceptable limit on the vegetables and such information can be disseminated to policy makers and consumers to encourage consumers to patronize these organic produces. Escherichia coli, and Salmonella spp. were observed in manure samples while Escherichia coli was observed in one lettuce sample. Farmers need further education on manure handling and use.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Quality Management