Development of a vegetable rotation technology as a sustainable farming system in selected growing locations in the forest zones of the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions.

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JUNE, 2009
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An experiment was conducted on-station at the Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST),Kumasi to study the development of a vegetable rotation technology as a sustainable farming practice in selected vegetable growing locations in the forest zones of Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions. The objective of the study was aimed at designing an effective rotation system for vegetable crop producers in the selected locations using the advantages of crop rotation as sustainable farming system for maintenance of soil fertility, weed control and reduction in diseases and pests. Four crop combinations were set up in a Randomised Complete Block Design (RCBD) replicated four times with controlled fields using the same crops without rotating them till the end of the study. Cropping system influenced soil nutrients as rotation of crops within each crop combination improved soil nutrient contents. Nematode population was significantly lower in the rotated plots than the non-rotated plots. The total yields in all the four plantings were significantly higher for rotated plots than the non-rotated. The rotational cropping system reduced the incidence of insect pest damage in all crop combinations but damage was higher in the non-rotated plots. With regard to weed suppression, the rotation cropping system suppressed broad leaved weeds better than the fields cropped continuously with the same vegetable crop. In terms of economics of production, the rotational cropping system gave the highest income compared with the continuous cropping system. The differences are ascribed to the increased yields obtained from the rotational cropping system. It is concluded from the study that rotational cropping system is better in all the crop combinations studied.
A thesis submitted to the School of Research and Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science And Technology, Kumasi, Ghana in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a Master of Science degree.