Response of the African eggplant (Solanummacrocarpon L.) transplants to irrigation water management regimes in two seasons

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Two experiments were conducted at the Horticulture Department, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, to determine the response of transplants of the African Eggplant (Solanum macrocarpon L.) to irrigation water management regimes during the rainy and dry seasons. The design used was a 3 x 2 factorial in a Complete Randomised Design (CRD) with five replications. The three irrigation frequencies used were 80 %, 100 % and 120 % of Crop Water Requirement (CWR) and 2 transplant ages, of 6 weeks and 4 weeks after pricking out. The results indicated that vegetative parameters of plant height, leaf number, canopy spread and leaf area increased with increasing irrigation and age, but most of these responses were non-significant in the rainy season. Marketable and edible yields (tha-1) were significantly higher in the dry season than in the rainy season. The 80 %, 100 % and 120 % CWRs respectively recorded significantly different total fresh marketable yield per tha-1 of 20.36 tha-1,19.99 tha-1 and 21.55 tha-1 in the rainy season. In the dry season 32.98 tha-1, 39.84 tha-1’ and 41.80 tha-1’ significantly different fresh marketable yields were obtained at the 80 %, 100 % and 120 % irrigations respectively. There were marked improvements of 61.98 %, 99.30 % and 93.97 % over the rainy season yields of fresh marketable portions at the respective irrigation levels. There were no significant differences between the 4 and 6 weeks old transplants in fresh marketable yields in both seasons, but the yields were higher for both transplant ages in the dry season where more edible yields were also obtained per ha than in the rainy season. A gross irrigation application of 308.45 mm (120 % CWR) in the dry season production yielded the highest profit. Dry season production recorded higher revenue and was more profitable than the rainy season production. The dry season production profits were about 4, 8 and 5 times more than those derived in the rainy season for the low, medium and high irrigation regimes respectively.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science, 2004