Evaluation of Cassava (Manihot Esculentum Crantz) Genotypes in Nsukka Agro-Ecology of Southeastern Nigeria
Field experiments were conducted during the 2008 and 2009 cropping seasons to evaluate 15 new cassava genotypes and one local check (Okwoko) for adaptation to Nsukka agro-ecology in the face of global climate change. The experiments were sited at the research farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Pre-planting soil samples were collected at 0 – 15 cm depth in each experimental unit after land preparation and subjected to routine chemical analysis. The new cassava genotypes were obtained from the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria while the local (Okwoko) was obtained from the farmer’s field in Obukpa, near the University of Nigeria. The experiment was a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications per trial. The cassava sticks were cut 30 cm long and planted at a spacing of 1 m apart. Data were collected on survival count, plant height, number of branches, tuber weight and disease incidence. Highest stem yield (780 bundles/ha) was obtained from TMS01/1368 while the lowest stem yield (320 bundles/ha) came from NR03/1555 in 2008 and 2009. Tuber yield (t/ha) was significantly (P ≤ 0 .05) lowest with the local genotype in both years. Among the improved genotypes, TMS98/2132 significantly (P ≤ 0 .05) recorded the highest root yield (42.04 t/ha) in 2008 and (43.50 t/ha) in 2009. Cassava mosaic disease (CMD) incidence was significantly higher than root rot among the genotypes.
Keywords: Germplasm, cassava, evaluation, environment