Large volumes of sugarcane molasses distillery effluent are produced by refineries in the Caribbean region throughout the year. This has to be disposed and may have negative effects on those ecosystems on which it impacts. An alternative to disposal is to use the raw or digested effluent as a crop fertilizer. Preliminary experiments showed that Phaseolus vidgaris plants fertilized with raw digested, neutral digested and undigested effluent, inoculated with Rhizobium sp. NGR 234, had few root nodules. Rhizobium sp. NGR 234, is a species known to effect nodulation in 35 different genera of legumes. The effects of digested and raw effluent on the growth and production of this Rhizobium species were examined. The growth of the bacterium was negatively affected as the effluent concentration increased. Estimated LDJO values were higher for undigested effluent. The results are discussed in the context of using sugarcane distillery effluent as a crop fertilizer.


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