B.Abdallah, H.M. Saha, M.K. Tsanuo
Department of Crop Sciences, Pwani University, Kenya
Department of Chemistry, Pwani University, Kenya
Key words: Striga asiatica, Zea mays, Spatial arrangement, Striga resistant maize varieties.
Infestation of maize fields by Striga asiatica in coastal Kenya is increasing due to continuous mono-cropping of cereals without replenishment of soil nutrients, hence reducing land productivity. This may therefore lead to food insecurity if a viable solution is not found. A study was conducted to determine if integrating striga resistant maize and cowpea spatial arrangement could offer an effective solution to the striga problem. The study was conducted at KALRO Matuga in 2012 and 2013. A randomized complete block design, with three replications, was used. Maize varieties differed significantly in their stover yield in 2013 LR seasons but the varieties did not show any significant effect on striga stand counts in both seasons. Spatial arrangement of intercropped cowpea significantly influenced maize grain and stover yields in 2013 LR season. Maize variety V2 showed some tolerance to striga weed. This variety is therefore recommended for multi-locational evaluation under the National Performance Trials (NPTs) to ascertain its superiority to the current commercial maize varieties (Coast Maize Composite, Pwani Hybrid 1 and Pwani Hybrid 4). Within row spatial arrangement of intercropped cowpea gave higher maize yields than the between row arrangement. Farmers are therefore likely to realize improved maize yields by adopting the within row spatial arrangement of intercropped cowpea.