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Comparative Economic Analysis of Irrigated and Rain-Fed Farming of Amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus L.) – Jute Mallow (Corchorus olitorus L.) Intercropping in Savanna, Nigeria

O. J. Fadeyi
O. O. Ayodeji


Irrigation has the potential to boost agricultural productivity and raise farm income and food production but in sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture is almost entirely rain-fed. Irrigation covers 4 to 6% of the total cultivated area. The profitability of three different cropping systems at contrasting growth conditions was analysed in this present study. Two Field experiments were conducted at the Research Experimental Station of the Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (070 15’N 030 25’E) under irrigation during the dry season of 2020 (November – December) and rain-fed during the early wet season (May – July) of 2021. Amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus L.) and jute mallow (Corchorus olitorus L.) were grown alone or in intercrops with each other.  Both irrigated and rain-fed intercrop production systems resulted in a greater land-equivalent ratio, LER (>1.00) than sole crops, but they are comparable to one another. The two intercrop production systems had land-equivalent coefficient, LEC values of 0.77 and 0.8, which were higher than the 0.25 expected. Irrigated intercrop production had the highest gross margin which was 50 and 52 % higher than both rain-fed intercrop and sole amaranth production respectively which were profitable. The intercrop vegetable production under irrigation had the highest benefit-cost ratio (1.55), the highest rate of return (0.55) and the least gross ratio (0.65). Irrigated intercrop production is the most profitable cropping system. It is therefore recommended that intercropping of amaranth-jute mallow under irrigated production system should be practised for increased profitability.