Maize is a vital agricultural commodity and considered as the major staple food in African countries1. Maize occupies the second largest production regions and first in its productivity in comparison with other cereal crops. But, production potential of maize is not satisfactory yet.
Constant farming of maize year after year is one of the major problems that badly influence its productivity. However, crop rotation practice is a suitable option in this regard to solve this issue. Moreover, “maize-legume intercropping” is another significant technique for decreasing the problem of mono cropping and can amplify food sources as well as livelihood of the farmers.
Accordingly, enhancing the vertical agriculture in maize based cropping systems has the ability to increase the production of this crop. Maize-legume intercropping systems are one of the most excellent agronomic practices in this regard which not only ensure efficient use of resources like water, nutrients, sun light and space2 but also conserve it by lessening soil erosion, restraining weed growth as well as disease pressure and ultimately assists in yield increment3.
Legumes, including common bean (bush and climbing types), groundnut faba bean and soybean as well as field pea are widely used to intercrop in major cereal crops like maize and sorghum. Hence, a new research was carried out for hunting compatible maize and climbing types of common bean at suitable time of bean planting in maize intercropping systems4.
For this purpose, scientists selected 3 maize varieties including BH661, BH546 as well as Gibe 2, two climbing beans (Tibe and Dandessu) and bean temporal arrangements (same, 15 and 20 days after maize planting in factorial combinations by following randomized complete block design with 3 replications4.
During this study, simultaneous planting of climbing bean in BH661 maize variety was found to be the ideal practices for gaining maximum benefits. On the other hand, farmers can also prefer planting of the beans 15 days after planting the BH546 variety of maize. Furthermore, research team also suggested intercropping of bean after 20 or more days planting of Gibe 2 as other viable options in case of limited availability of hybrid varieties.
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