Ghana Journal of Agricultural Science

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Intercropping maize with cassava or cowpea in Ghana

SA Ennin, J Asafu-Agyei, HK Dapaah


Maize/cassava and maize/cowpea intercrops were evaluated in southern Ghana, over a 5-year period to determine the optimum combination of component crop varieties and component plant population densities to optimize productivity of maize-based intercropping systems. Results indicated that some cowpea varieties which perform well under sole cropping tend to climb under intercropping and may not be adapted for intercropping. Selection of improved cowpea lines under intercropping might, therefore, be necessary. Full-season maize intercropped with short-duration cassava (LER=1.5), and medium-maturing cowpea intercropped with early-maturing or full-season maize (LER=1.4-1.53) resulted in high productivity of the intercrops. The optimum plant population density of the intercropped maize (50,000 to 58,000 plants ha-1) was similar to the recommended optimum sole crop maize plant population density. It is recommended that intercropped cassava population density should not exceed 15,000 plants ha-1 to obtain marketable sizes of cassava roots. Planting double rows of cowpea between two rows of maize was a better alternative (LER=1.60-1.62) to sole cropping.

Ghana Jnl agric Sci. Vol.32(2) 1999: 129-136
AJOL African Journals Online