Productivity of Different Population of Plantain and Cover Crops Mixtures in South Western Nigeria

Paper Details


Akinyemi S.O.S

Year of Publications

October 21, 1999

Place of Publications

Portharcourt Nigeria

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Type of Publication


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Plantains (Musa AAB) are mostly grown by peasant farmers and/or small holders : The area account for 50% of world production. Although there are several technical advantages in an intensified sole cropping system (Champion 1976), traditionally, farmers keep on growing other food crops among their plantain stands.
In this systems plantain are inter cropped with other food crops such as cassava, cocoyam, maize and groundnut (CIMMYT, 1990) Akinyemi, 1998
Under conditions of continuous intercropping, which is usually the case, plantain yields decline (Braide and Wilson, 1980). This is caused by a rapid decline in soil fertility caused by the traditional choice of intercrops and increased erosion in high rain-forest areas. Probable solution to this problem, according to Jolaoso et al., 1996, include the promotion of fertilizer application or the design of new farming systems which involve the use of intercrops which enrich the soil, either by their protective growing habit or by the contribution organic matter when decay.
With regards to enriching the soil through intercrops, some crops such as cowpea, soybeans and centrosema have been found to be useful (Mien-Chun 1976; Aiyelaagbe and Jolaoso, 1994). These crops in most cases serve as cover crops. These crops in most cases serve as cover crops. They help in suppressing weeds, protect the soil against wind and water erosion, add organic matter to the soil, improve soil structure and provide forage to livestock (Lai et al, 1991). However, economic returns of these intercrops is the most essential to the farmers, they usually prefer cover crops that will give them additional monetary returns or food supply to the farm families. Though information on the advantages of these cover crops as regards to weed control is known, that of their effect on the productivity of plantain especially under different population is still lacking. This paper reports the results of effect of melon and sweet potato on the performance of different populations of plantain

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