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Effect of intercropping maize and solanum potato on yield of the component crops in Central Uganda

M. Ebwongu
E. Adipala
C. K. Ssekabembe
S. Kyamanywa
A. S. Bhagsari


Three potato (Solunum tuberosum) varieties and one maize variety were intercropped in six spatial arrangements, viz., sole crops, 2:1, 2:2, 1:1, 1:2 potato: maize row arrangements and one additive mixture. Intercropping influenced some growth parameters of potato but not of maize. For instance, the rate of potato stem extension and leaf formation rates were hastened by intercropping. Branching in potato influenced leaf area development, especially during the second season when the additive mixture supported the least leaf area. Potato yield differed significantly among the spatial arrangements with the highest yield in the sole crop followed closely by the 2:1 and 2:2 potato: maize mixtures. However, these yield differences depended on potato variety, with Kisoro being the most responsive to changes in spatial arrangement. Assessment of biological efficiency of intercropping using the Land Equivalent Ratio (LER) method, revealed that yield advantages increased slightly with increase in the proportion of potato in the mixtures. However, it was only the additive mixture with a significant overall LER of 1.58, indicating a 58.2% yield advantage for intercropping. The contribution of maize to total LER was greatest in the 1:2 and additive mixtures.

Key Words: Biological efficiency, inter-cropping, land equivalent ratio, Solanum tuberosum, spatial arrangement, yield advantage

(African Crop Science Journal 2001 9(1): 83-96)