Effect of Integrated Climate Change Resilient Cultural Practices on Productivity of Faba Bean (Vicia faba L.) under Rain-fed Conditions in Hararghe Highlands, Ethiopia
Abstract: Alternative sustainable agriculture under the pressing impacts of climate variability on crop production is a primary concern in the Ethiopian development agenda towards sustained food security. Use of integrated crop management through climate resilient cultural practices that target diversity of produce, yield stability, losses due to pests, and reduction in economic and environmental risks is an appropriate strategy for sustainability of agricultural production. Field studies were conducted in Hararghe highlands, specifically at Haramaya during the 2012 and 2013 and at Arbarakate in the 2013 main cropping seasons to assess effects of integrated climate change resilient cultural practices on faba bean productivity. Three on-farm-based climate change resilient cultural practices: intercropping, compost application and furrow planting alone and in integration with the other practices were evaluated using Dagaga and Bulga-70 faba bean varieties and Melkassa-IV maize variety. The results showed that furrow planting with compost application in row intercropping increased soil moisture by up to 3.23% and cooled the soil temperature by up to 1.06oC compared to sole cropping at Haramaya in 2013. Furrow planting with application of compost led to production of the highest (3.47 t ha-1 in 2012 and 4.25 t ha-1 in 2013) faba bean grain yields at Haramaya. The same treatment at Arbarakate produced the maximum (5.29 t ha-1) faba bean grain yield in 2013. This was closely followed by the yield obtained in response to the application of compost at both locations in 2013 and by the yield obtained in response to furrow and sole cropping at Haramaya in 2012. Compost fertilization with or without furrow planting led to the production of consistently heavier grains. The total Land Equivalent Ratio (1.01 to 1.76) indicated a higher grain yield advantages of faba bean-maize intercropping over sole faba bean cropping at both locations over the two years. The overall results demonstrated that integrated climate resilient cultural practices significantly increased productivity of the crop as a result of enhancing contents of soil nutrients, soil moisture, soil organic carbon, and regulating soil and canopy temperatures as well as through buffering the root environment.
Keywords: Compost; Furrow planting; Grain yield; Land Equivalent Ratio; Row intercropping; Soil moisture and temperature; Sole cropping
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