Effects of intercropping systems and Rhizobium inoculation on yields of maize (Zea mays) and two legumes (Phaseolus vulgaris and Dolichos lablab)
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This study aimed to assess the effect of intercropping systems, Rhizobium inoculation and legumes on yield components and grain yields of maize and two legumes. To achieve this objective, field experiments were executed at Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) for two cropping seasons. A randomised complete block design was used in a 3-factorial arrangement with two levels of Rhizobium (with and without rhizobia), 2 legumes (P. vulgaris and D. lablab) and 5 intercropping systems. The results showed that Rhizobium inoculation, cropping systems and legumes significantly (P≤0.001) increased maize and legumes yield components and grain yields in two seasons. The interaction between Rhizobium inoculation, legumes and cropping systems had significant effect (P≤0.001) on some of yield components and grains yield of maize and legumes in both seasons. These results suggest a significant yield increment by more than 35% when the two legumes were inoculated and intercropped with maize. Therefore based on these experimental findings, farmers should be advised to use Rhizobium as biofertilizers in maize-legumes intercrop as these improve soil fertility and crops yield.
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