Effects of intercropping and cropping systems on the postharvest quality of maize and roselle.

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July, 2016
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Hibiscus cannabinus L., commonly called Roselle, is an important vegetable among subsistence farming households especially in most developing countries. Never the less, the productivity of maize and Roselle under intercropping arrangements is not well known. The research work on effects of intercropping and cropping systems on post harvest quality of maize and Roselle was done to determine the agronomic performance of the intercrop systems, post- harvest quality and also profitability of the intercrop arrangements. The study showed that sole maize and sole Roselle produced the highest yields per hectare compared with the intercrop systems. Within the intercrop systems, 2:2 intercrop arrangements also produced the highest grain yield of maize and Roselle leaf yield (1685.4kg and 16981.3kg/ha respectively). The least yield was produced by 1:2 of both maize and Roselle. However, the combine effect of intercropping maize and Roselle in two rows of maize and two rows of Roselle produced the highest yield and accrued profits. The least was produced by 1:2 intercrop arrangements. All the intercrop system or arrangements save significant proportion of land that otherwise will be needed by a mono cropping pattern to yield the same results. However, one row of maize and two rows of Roselle (1:2) arrangements do not save land and therefore it is not economically prudent to embark on 1:2 arrangements of maize and Roselle in the intercrop system. Monitoring of Roselle fresh leaf shelf life showed that by day two, Roselle leaves shrivel and takes three days for the leaves to completely change colour from the original green. The study also revealed that Ca, Zn, Pb, Cu, N, P, PH, TSS, TTA percentages in Roselle leaves are independent of any of the plant arrangements. However, the intercrop system has effects on Mg concentration in Roselle leaves. Two rows of maize and two rows of Roselle (2:2) arrangements contain the least percentage of Mg whiles one row of maize and one row of Roselle (1:1) arrangement had the highest Mg levels accumulated in the leaves. The percentage concentration of crude protein and carbohydrates are very high in Roselle leaves within the intercrop arrangement than sole cropping. However, increasing the number of rows of Roselle and reducing the number of rows of maize reduces the crude fat concentration in Roselle leaves but reducing the number of rows of Roselle and increasing the number of rows of maize results in increase in crude fibre content in the leaves of Roselle. These findings will be very useful especially to farmers.
A thesis submitted to The School of Research and Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Post Harvest Technology.