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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 78 No. 1, p. 43-46
    Received: Aug 6, 1984

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Cassava-Cowpea and Cassava-Peanut Intercropping. I. Yield and Land Use Efficiency]1

  1. S. C. Mason2,
  2. D. E. Leihner3 and
  3. J. J. Vorst2



Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is commonly intercropped with cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp] or peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) in the tropics. Little is known about how intercropping these species influences efficiency of land use and yields. Cassava, cowpea, and peanut were grown as sole crops and as intercrops on a Typic Dystropept soil at Santander de Quilichao, Colombia in 1981 and 1982. The objective of this study was to determine land use efficiency, yield, and yield components for cassava, cowpea, and peanut grown in intercropping and sole cropping systems. Cassava yields were reduced 2.3 to 4.7 Mg ha−1 when intercropped with cowpea or peanut, except in 1982 when intercropped with cowpea. Cassava yield reductions due to intercropping were associated with the production of 1.5 to 3.9 fewer storage roots per plant than were produced by sole cropped cassava. When intercropped with cassava, cowpea seed yields were reduced from 3195 to 2170 kg ha−1 in 1981, and from 2227 to 1328 kg ha−1 in 1982. Averaged across years, peanut seed yield was reduced from 2099 to 1293 kg ha−1. Cowpea and peanut yield reductions due to intercropping were associated with the production of approximately 3.5 fewer pods per plant. Even though yields of component crops were reduced by intercropping, the cassava-cowpea and cassava-peanut intercropping systems resulted in 15 to 35% greater land use efficiency for the 11-month growing season than resulted from the sole cropping systems. This is of importance in developing countries where available per capita arable land is low.

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