The effects of organic and inorganic fertilizers on growth, yield and black sigatoka disease reaction of some plantain (Musa spp. Aab) genotypes in south-eastern Nigeria
Three plantain hybrids (‘29525’, ‘30456-3’, ‘PITA 14’) and a landrace genotype ‘Agbagba’ (as control) were field evaluated in response to organic and inorganic fertilizers at the International Institute of Tropical
Agriculture, High Rainfall Station, Onne, Rivers State, Nigeria, for two cropping cycles. The experimental design was a 4 x 3 factorial in randomized complete block, replicated thrice. Growth, yield and black sigatoka disease parameters were measured during the two cropping (plant and ratoon crop) cycles of evaluation. The genotypes ‘29525’ and ‘PITA 14’ produced significantly (P < 0.05) higher leaf area, number of standing leaves and index of non-spotted leaves; however, genotype ‘30456-3’ retained more functional leaves at harvest while genotype ‘29525’ produced heavier bunches/ha during the two cropping cycles. Poultry manure supported the best plant growth and yield parameters, especially index of non-spotted leaves, number of standing leaves at flowering and at harvest, leaf retention index and bunch yield/ha. There was a strong and positive relationship between the index of non-spotted leaves and bunch yield/ha. The newly developed hybrids (‘29525’ and ‘30456-3’) were confirmed to be tolerant to black sigatoka disease with fertilizer application reducing the severity of the disease. Similarly, these two new hybrids had comparatively good agronomic traits that could warrant their recommendation for on-farm adaptive trial.
Keywords: Musa genotypes, Fertilizer, Black Sigatoka disease, Growth, Yield.