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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access November 18, 2019

Increasing potato equivalent yield increases returns to investment under potato-legume intercropping systems

  • Harun I Gitari EMAIL logo , Shadrack O Nyawade , Solomon Kamau , Charles K. K Gachene , Nancy N Karanja and Elmar Schulte-Geldermann
From the journal Open Agriculture


In order to enhance sustainable intensification of potato-based cropping systems, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), there is a need to investigate the economic viability of investing in this lucrative venture. This study evaluated the economic returns under legume intercropping systems using value/cost ratio (VCR) and benefit/cost ratio (BCR) under treatments comprising of potato intercropped with dolichos (Lablab purpureus L.) (P-D), climbing bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) (P-B) and garden pea (Pisum sativum L.) (P-G), and a potato pure stand control (P-S). Across the seasons, tuber yield was not significantly (p < 0.05) affected by intercropping with P-D, whereas under P-B and P-G, it decreased by 19% and 16%, respectively compared to P-S. P-G, P-B and P-D recorded 6, 7 and 12% higher potato equivalent yield (PEY) relative to P-S. P-D was the most profitable intercropping system with VCR of 35 and BCR of 5.1 as compared to values recorded in P-S of 31 and 5, respectively. Regression of VCR against PEY resulted in a stronger coefficient (0.98) compared to that of BCR against PEY (0.82) implying that VCR is a simple tool that could be adopted for economic returns to investment studies such as potato-legume inter-cropping systems.


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Received: 2019-07-06
Accepted: 2019-08-25
Published Online: 2019-11-18

© 2019 Harun I Gitari et al., published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.

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