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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Agricultural and Crop Research
Title Legume-based cropping for sustainable production, economic benefit and reducing climate change impacts in southern Ethiopia
Volume 2
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 11-21
URL http://www.sciencewebpublishing.net/jacr/archive/2014/January/pdf/Workayehu.pdf
Bean-maize (Phaseolus vulgaris L-Zea mays) intercrop is a common practice in southern Ethiopia. However,
its effect on weed, productivity, and economic benefit has not been assessed. Climate change has significantly affected
crop production in southern Ethiopia. Intercropping is used as a means to reduce the risk of climate change and sustain
productivity and production. Agronomic and economic advantages of intercrops were evaluated over five years (2008-
2012) at Awassa. Three weeding practices (0, 1, and 2 weeding), and single (MB) and double (MBB) rows of bean
alternated with one row of maize were used in complete factorial experiment using randomized complete block design.
Sole crop bean (SB) and maize (SM) were included. Variability in rainfall influenced the effect of weeding and
intercropping. Seasons with better rainfall had less weed but more pods plant-1
, plant density, dry matter, bean and
maize yield, energy value and economic benefit. Weeds in intercrop were 30% less compared with sole crop bean.
Weed biomass was 16 and 30% less in MBB than SM and MB, respectively. Weeding increased plant height (16%),
pods plant-1 (19%), grain (60%) and dry matter (38%) yields of bean, energy yield (56%), and monetary benefit (59%).
Bean yield was 52 to 68% greater with weeding compared to the unweeded. In the dry year of 2011, weeding increased
grain yields of bean and maize by 44 to 124% and 33 to 121% more than the unweeded, respectively. Maize yield varied
between 43 and 66% with weeding compared with weed control. Bean yield and total land equivalent ratio (LER) in MB
was 35 and 22% more than in MBB, respectively. Maize yield in MB was 15% lower than sole maize but 19% more than
MBB. Energy yield and monetary benefit were 19 and 29% higher in MB than MBB, respectively. Intercropping resulted
in LER of 20 to 67% yield benefit over sole crop and saved 38% more farm land. Overall, intercropping suppressed
weeds and was more productive and economical than sole crop, which reduced risk of climate change and sustained
crop production. This would benefit farmers in reducing the risk of climate change and alleviating food shortage.

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