Diatomaceous Earth Usage in The Agriculture Sector in Uganda And Its Characterization: Current Status and Anticipated Developments

Robert Alex Isabirye, Charles Waiswa, Fred Kabi, William N. Nanyeenya, Savino Biryomumaisho, James Acai-Okwee, Samuel Okello, Beatrice Omonuk Akello, Moses Mwesigwa, Richard Lumu and George William Nasinyama


Full Length Research Paper I Published June,2019


Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Technology  Vol. 5 (4), pp.87-95.



The study was conducted in the districts of Nebbi, Wakiso and Gomba in Uganda to characterize Diatomaceous Earth (DE) from the 3 major deposits in Uganda; explore status of exploitation and usage in agriculture, and anticipate associated effects. DE aka diatomite originated from fossilized remains of diatom shells. In agriculture, it’s used in controlling livestock internal and external parasites; post-harvest crop insect pests; and aflatoxins in stored feeds. DE has silica, Ca, Na, Mg, Fe, and other trace minerals making it valuable. Unlike synthetic drugs, DE is safer to consumers. Data collection employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Most respondents (94.6%) didn’t know of any agricultural DE usage, and the remaining (5.4%) knew it as a remedy against post-harvest weevils in stored grains. Residents in the mining area used DE in painting houses; craved by pregnant women; and relieving diarrhea in humans. Characterization revealed that Ugandan DE deposits were premium for various purposes. No commercial DE exploitation had started however when it’s due, the government would guide regulatory framework. Additionally, the socio-economic transformation was anticipated through employment creation; and foreign exchange. Since DE’s availability in Uganda is confirmed, more research and programs to promote its exploitation are needed.

Keywords: Agricultural production, Chemical composition, Colour, Commercial exploitation, Diatomite and Uganda.


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