Conservation Agriculture-Based Maize-Bean Cropping Systems in South Central Ethiopia

Goshime Muluneh Mekasha


Conservation agriculture (CA) is defined as sustainable agriculture production system comprising a set of farming practices adapted to the requirement of crops and local condition of each region. This experiment was conducted at three districts: East-Badawaho, Meskan and Hawassa-Zuriya. In each district five farmers hosted the experiment and each farmer was used as a replicate. The experiment was run for six years (2011-2016) at each farmer’s field. The experiment consisted of five treatments (Continuous sole maize, Maize bean rotation, Maize-bean inter-cropping, Bean rotation under CA and farmer practice. BH-543 maize variety and Hawassa-Dume common bean variety were used. Soil moisture content under CA practices was higher than the farmer practice during drought year. Maize yield and yield related traits and soil water data were collected from each site. At East-Badawacho grain yield was 4% higher in CA compared with farmer practice. Maize bean rotation and sole maize under CA out yielded the farmer practice by 13 and 4%, respectively but maize-bean inter-cropping had 5% lower grain yield. At Hawassa-Zuriya, CA maize bean rotation had higher yield than farmer practice in 2011 and 2013. At Meskan, CA had 8% higher than FP. Maize-bean inter-cropping, maize bean rotation and sole maize under CA had 10, 8 and 6% higher grain yield than farmer practice, respectively. Common bean grain yield from bean rotation under CA had 2799, 2908, and 3226 kg ha-1 at East-Badawacho, Hawassa-Zuriya and Meskan district respectively. Inter-cropping under CA had 817, 1065 and 927 kg ha-1, respectively.  Generally, CA cropping systems had random drought stress reduction potential as compared with common practice and even under normal condition cropping systems under CA had higher grain yield and biomass production potential.

Keywords: cropping systems, farmer practice, sole maize, rotation, inter cropping; rift valley

DOI: 10.7176/JNSR/10-12-01

Publication date:June 30th 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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