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Title: Yield and postharvest quality of maize (Zea mays l.) and okra (Abelmoschus esculentus l. moench) intercrops as influenced by plant density arrangement in the Savannah Agro-Eco zone
Authors: Avukpor, Theodore Eyram
Issue Date: 12-Nov-2015
Abstract: The production of more food for the growing populations in the coming decades, while combating poverty and hunger at present, is a significant challenge to the developing nations. This study therefore sought to determine the yield and postharvest quality of maize and okra in an intercropping system and assessing its economic profitability. The study was conducted to assess the yield and quality of maize and okra intercrops as affected by plant density. The field experiment was carried out at the Research fields of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) located at the Ghana Air Force Base fields in Tamale - Northern Ghana during the raining season (July, 2014 to November, 2014). A Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) was used with three replications for the field work; the laboratory experiments were laid in a Completely Randomised Design (CRD) at the laboratory of the Department of Horticulture, KNUST and CSIR-Soil Research Institute. Maize was intercropped with okra in rows in the following ratio; 1 Maize :1 Okra, 1 Maize : 2 Okra, 2 Maize : 1 Okra, 2 Maize : 2 Okra and sole Maize and Sole Okra. The outcome of the study showed that, intercropping maize and okra resulted in the decrease in the striga population on the maize and an exponential increase in the number of pods of okra. Intercropping did not have any significant effect (p<0.05) on the yield of both component crops. In terms of postharvest qualities of the component crops, all the intercropping arrangements significantly (p<0.01) improved the calcium content of the okra fruits but did not have any significant (p>0.01) effect on crude protein, crude fibre, carbohydrates and fats of maize grain as well as TSS, TTA, pH and sugar-acid ratio of okra pods. Generally, this present study has demonstrated that intercropping maize with okra in various plant arrangements did not affect the postharvest quality of the maize whiles improving the pod quality of the okra. Consequently, the two crops can be intercropped without the loss of any nutritional or chemical quality of either component crop in the system. Economically, intercropping maize and okra is highly profitable, with the level of profitability increasing as the population of okra in the intercrop system is increased. In addition, the cost of producing maize alone is high and erodes the percentage of profit accrued to the production of the crop.
Description: A thesis submitted to the School of Research and Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Philosophy (M. Phil. Postharvest Physiology) degree , 2015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/8181
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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