Trees may enhance plantain production
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CTA. 1993. Trees may enhance plantain production. Spore 45. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49152
In Nigeria, plantain and banana cultivation has traditionally been concentrated in the moist humid zone of the rainforest belt. Farmers in this region grow plantain and banana around their houses, where the plants receive ample water and supplies...
In Nigeria, plantain and banana cultivation has traditionally been concentrated in the moist humid zone of the rainforest belt. Farmers in this region grow plantain and banana around their houses, where the plants receive ample water and supplies of organic matter from household refuse and from the litter of fruit and shade trees. Increasing population pressure calls for the expanded production of staple foods, such as plantain, on a commercial scale. Due to limited land in the humid zone, production has expanded primarily into the derived savanna: but yields have started to decline. This has been attributed to a rapid decrease in soil organic matter. Staff at the Department of Crop Science at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka have conducted an experiment to evaluate the establishment and growth performance of six sucker sources of plantain. The suckers were in a site adjacent to a rubber plantation and it was observed that the suckers were healthier and grew better the closer they were to rubber trees. Observations in other parts of the derived savanna zone confirmed that banana and plantain tend to grow better near trees, in particular the locust bean tree (Parkia sp.). The observations raised a number of questions and point to the need for a well-planned evaluation study. One aspect would be to identify the most suitable indigenous or exotic tree species for plantain and banana plantations in Nigeria's derived savanna zone. The object would be to design agroforestry practices suitable for current mixed-farming systems in the region. K P Baiyeri ICRAF PO Box 30677 Nairobi, KENYA