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Maize and Potato Intercropping: A Technology to Increase Productivity and Profitability in Tigray

Beyenesh Z. Kidane / Mereseit H. Hailu / Haile T. Haile
Published Online: 2017-07-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2017-0044


Smallholders have limited landholding in the highlands of Tigray and therefore there is a critical need to improve land use efficiency (LUE). One way to improve the LUE is through intercropping of companion crops including maize and potato. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the intercropping ratio as a means to improve land use efficiency during the 2012 cropping season. The treatments tested were three intercropping ratios of maize: potato in 1:1, 1:2, 2:1 row arrangement compared against the maize and potato only cropping. The objective of the study was to identify the best intercropping ratio that maximizes land use efficiency. Land equivalent ratio (LER) was used to compare the land use efficiency of the intercrops with each sole crop. The total yield of intercropped crops were greater than sole cropping, shown by LER>1. The overall advantage of intercropping ranged from 35 to 58%. The highest land equivalent value of 58% was recorded for one maize and two potato rows arrangements indicated a yield advantage of 58% over sole crop. The partial land equivalent value of both crops in intercropping was less than one indicating the cohesiveness of both crops in intercropping. Thus, it can be concluded that 1maize: 2 potato intercropping is a viable agronomic option in increasing land use efficiency and increased food security. It is, therefore, imperative to demonstrate the best treatment under farmer’s condition.

Keywords: Hawzen; Intercropping arrangement; Land Equivalent Ratio (LER); sole cropping; grain yield; tuber yield


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About the article

Received: 2016-11-21

Accepted: 2017-05-22

Published Online: 2017-07-27

Published in Print: 2017-02-23

Citation Information: Open Agriculture, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 411–416, ISSN (Online) 2391-9531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2017-0044.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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