Yayeh Bitew, G. Alemayehu, E. Adgo
Mar 26, 2020
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
Abstract Currently, the unchecked increase in human population results in increased demand for agricultural lands. Growing two or more crops simultaneously is one of the mechanisms to reduce this problem. A field experiment was conducted in northwestern Ethiopia during 2017 and 2018 cropping seasons. Two legume crops [haricot bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and lupine (Lupinus angustifolius)] were intercropped with finger millet (Eleusine coracana) using two intercrop planting methods (row and mixture) and three finger millet-legume planting ratios (100.0%:75.0%, 100.0%:50.0% and 100.0%:25.0% of the respective recommended seed rate of sole crops). Two sole crop finger millets (planted in rows and broadcast) and two sole legume crops (haricot bean and lupine) were included as checks. The experiment comprised a randomized complete block design with three replications. Results indicated intercropped finger millet and total land output yield from finger millet-haricot bean row intercropping at a 100:50 planting ratio and sole finger millet planted in a row improved better yield stability. Finger millet-haricot bean row intercropping at a 100:50 planting ratio also resulted in higher grain yields of the component crops, area time equivalent ratio (1.34), relative production (38.1%) and economic (314.0%) efficiencies with a relatively lower component crop competitive ratio. Thus, this cropping system offered increased productivity and economic return and is a viable option for increasing household food security.