Cassava based farming systems in the semiarid zone: need for a change in agronomic practices

Pages 241-245

I.j. Ekanayake and U.C. Okarter

ABSTRACT

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is one of the main staple crops grown in the semiarid zone of sub-Saharan Africa. It is reported to be a favoured alternate crop in the drought-, famine-, and war-prone areas of this region due to its desirable morphological, physiological, genetic and agronomic features. Production levels in fanners’ fields however do not meet its potential biomass yields (storage roots and foliage) as reported by the researchers. Therefore, we attempted to search for possible ways of alleviating the factors responsible for this yield gap. Data gathered from various field trials conducted on-station and on-farm and surveys carried out over a 6-year period in the Northern Guinea Savanna zone and Sudan Savanna zone in Nigeria are used to synthesize appropriate agronomic practices for cassava. Recommendations are given for the improvement of productivity of cassava using two components strategy, the combined use of improved and drought-adapted clones and good quality planting materials.

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