Effect of maize and common bean intercropping patterns on soil fertility, crop growth and yield

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


A study was conducted to establish the effect of intercropping patterns using improved maize and common bean varieties recommended for low attitude areas (Morogoro) on soil fertility, growth and yield. The experiment was conducted in the Crop Museum at the main campus of Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania. The site is located between latitude 06 o 50‟S and longitude 37 o 39‟E at 526 meter above sea level. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design with three replications. The treatments included; Sole maize, sole common bean, conventional 1maize-1common bean, improved 1maize-2common bean and 2maize-2common bean intercropping patterns. Improved maize variety, Meru HB 513 and common bean variety, Pesa were used. Fertilizers TSP and MOP at 27kg P/ha and 20kg K/ha, respectively, were used at planting. Growth parameters, nodulation and N 2 -fixation of common bean, nutrients uptake, yield and yield components were recorded. The results showed that common bean in the improved (1:2) intercrop pattern recorded significantly (p<0.008) the highest value (11.67 kg/ha) of N 2 -fixed than other treatments. Maize crop growth, leaf area index and total dry matter were significantly (p<0.001, p<0.015 and p<0.001, respectively) reduced by intercropping patterns. Similarly, common bean crop growth, leaf area index and total dry matter were highly significantly (p<0.001, p<0.001 and p<0.001, respectively) reduced. Intercropping patterns had no significant effect on maize yield and yield components. However, pod number and yield of common bean were significantly (p<0.001, p<0.001, respectively) reduced. The improved 1:2 intercrop pattern is the most beneficial in terms of the amount of N-fixed, land equivalent ratio (LER) and land saved as it produced highest fixed N (11.67 kg/ha), LER (1.59) and land saved (37.1%). On the bases of these results, farmers are advised to apply the improved (1:2) intercrop pattern. However, validation of these findings is recommended for two to three seasons to come up with appropriate deduction.


A Dissertation 2019


Intercropping patterns, Common bean varieties, Crop Museum, Improved maize, Soil fertility, Crop growth