Contributions of Moringa oleifera in intercropping systems to food security in the derived Savanna zone of southeastern Nigeria
The experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research farm of the Akanu Ibaim Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, Ebonyi State during 2014 cropping season to assess the contribution of Moringa oleifera intercrop on the performance of crops in the derived savanna zone of Southeastern Nigeria. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with six treatments replicated three times. The treatments consist of sole maize, sole sweet potato, sole moringa, moringa + maize, moringa + sweet potato and moringa + maize + sweet potato. Data on crop growth and yield parameters were collected and subjected to analysis of variance and mean separation was done using least significant differences at 5% level of probability. Results indicated a reduction in soil acidity from 1.86 to 1.60 in the cropping system. There was significant difference (P.0.05) on crop growth and crop components, except on leaf area of maize and moringa oleifera. Maize yields were not significantly influenced by the treatment as compared to sweet potato and moringa leaf yield. However, among the treatments used, moringa + maize and moringa + sweet potato crop combinations produced the highest crop growth and yield of maize, sweet potato and moringa oleifera while sole crops produced the lowest. This work the proves the significance of moringa oleifera on crop performance.
Keywords: Intercropping, Moringa oleifera, Maize, Sweet potato and Food security
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