Intensification options of small holders’ cassava production in South‐West Nigeria
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Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a staple food crop in Nigeria, but root yields hardly exceed 10 t ha(-1). Intensification of small holders' cassava production is key to improved food security and income generation. We tested, in two demonstration trials and 20 on-farm trials, different intensification options: cassava growth type (erect and branching), fertilizer application (with and without), and cassava - legume arrangement (0.5 by 2 m/1 by 1 m spacing of cassava) in demonstration trials. In on-farm trials, farmers tested a subset of these treatments. The demonstration trials had median cassava yields of about 20 (Akindele village) and 15 (Osunwoyin village) t ha(-1). Fertilizer application increased the yield of the erect cassava variety. Cassava intercropped with cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.], reduced yield and the branching cassava variety produced lower yield than the erect variety. Median cowpea yields were about 1 and 1.5 t ha(-1) pod yield. Median yields in the on-farm trials were about 10 t ha(-1). Intercropping with cowpea reduced cassava root yields (on average by 2.4 t ha(-1)), again, cowpea pod yields of 1-1.5 t ha(-1) were attainable. In summary, this study confirmed that intensification measures need to be site and user or farmer specific.
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