Grain yield of selected crops at four climate analogue locations in Zimbabwe uri icon

abstract

  • Predicted warmer climates are likely to negatively affect production systems and expose smallholderfarmers in sub-Saharan Africa, whose adaptive capacity is limited mainly due to poverty, to foodinsecurity. We studied the performance of selected varieties representing short, medium and long durationgrowth periods of four crops (maize (Zea mays L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.), groundnut (Arachishypogaea L.) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) at two pairs (wet and dry) of 2050s climate analogue sites.Climate analogues, based on 30 years metereological data, were identified in smallholder areas ofZimbabwe. The sites were Kadoma (722 mm annual mean rainfall; 21.8oC annual mean temperature) whichwas the higher-temperature analogue site for Mazowe (842 mm annual mean rainfall; 18.2oC annual meantemperature) for wetter areas, and Chiredzi (541 mm annual mean rainfall; 21.3oC annual meantemperature) which was the higher-temperature analogue site for Matobo (567 mm annual mean rainfall:18.4oC annual mean temperature) for drier areas. First season (2011/12) results showed that for the wetterpair, maize and groundnut grain yields were significantly higher at the cooler site (Mazowe). Sorghumyields were not significantly different between the sites and there was no grain yield for cowpea at thecooler site due to a fungal disease. Varietal yield differences were only significantly higher (P<0.05) at thecooler site for groundnut where the short duration variety had the highest yield (3809 kg/ha) and themedium duration variety the lowest yield (1420 kg/ha), compared with 140-355 kg/ha at the hotter sitewhere growth was poor for all varieties. For the drier sites, maize, sorghum and cowpea grain yields werehigher at the cooler site (Matobo) compared with the hotter sites (Chiredzi) but varietal differences werenot significant. Results for the second season (2012/13) will be presented

publication date

  • 2013