Yield and fertilizer benefits of maize/grain legume intercropping in China and Africa: A meta-analysis View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2022-08-18

AUTHORS

Shingirai Mudare, Jasper Kanomanyanga, Xiaoqiang Jiao, Stanford Mabasa, Jay Ram Lamichhane, Jingying Jing, Wen-Feng Cong

ABSTRACT

Maize/annual grain legume intercropping is pivotal in achieving sustainable intensification in developing countries like China and some African countries. It remains unclear whether and to what extent the benefits of intercropping on crop yield and land-use efficiency vary between the two regions. This meta-analysis compared the performance of intercropping maize with six annual grain legumes (soybean, common bean, groundnut, cowpea, pea, and faba bean) commonly grown in China and Africa. Data extracted from 73 publications were used to analyze land equivalent ratio (LER), yield gain, nitrogen, and phosphorus fertilizer equivalent ratio. The overall values of LER, nitrogen, and phosphorus fertilizer equivalent ratio were significantly >1 for both China and Africa. The overall yield gain was 1.45 ± 0.07 t ha−1, with China having a higher mean (2.3 ± 0.13 t ha−1) than Africa (0.90 ± 0.07 t ha−1). Relay-strip intercropping had the highest LER and yield gain in China, while Africa’s yield gain was lower in both strip and alternate row intercropping compared with that of China. Maize/common bean intercrop had the highest yield gain in Africa, while maize/faba bean produced high yield gain in China. The yield gain for maize/peanut and maize/soybean was higher in China than in Africa. Increasing nitrogen and phosphorus rates reduced LER in both regions. Here, we show for the first time that while additional phosphorus increases yield gain for Africa it can reduce absolute yields in China. Therefore, the African farmers are recommended to adopt strip or relay-strip intercropping, common bean insertion into intercropping or moderate phosphorus fertilizer application to substantially improve yield gain and income. For China, minimizing fertilizer use by including intercropping with more legume diversity may contribute to reduced environmental problems while achieving high yield gain. More... »

PAGES

81

References to SciGraph publications

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  • 2021-10-04. Long-term increased grain yield and soil fertility from intercropping in NATURE SUSTAINABILITY
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    27 schema:description Maize/annual grain legume intercropping is pivotal in achieving sustainable intensification in developing countries like China and some African countries. It remains unclear whether and to what extent the benefits of intercropping on crop yield and land-use efficiency vary between the two regions. This meta-analysis compared the performance of intercropping maize with six annual grain legumes (soybean, common bean, groundnut, cowpea, pea, and faba bean) commonly grown in China and Africa. Data extracted from 73 publications were used to analyze land equivalent ratio (LER), yield gain, nitrogen, and phosphorus fertilizer equivalent ratio. The overall values of LER, nitrogen, and phosphorus fertilizer equivalent ratio were significantly >1 for both China and Africa. The overall yield gain was 1.45 ± 0.07 t ha−1, with China having a higher mean (2.3 ± 0.13 t ha−1) than Africa (0.90 ± 0.07 t ha−1). Relay-strip intercropping had the highest LER and yield gain in China, while Africa’s yield gain was lower in both strip and alternate row intercropping compared with that of China. Maize/common bean intercrop had the highest yield gain in Africa, while maize/faba bean produced high yield gain in China. The yield gain for maize/peanut and maize/soybean was higher in China than in Africa. Increasing nitrogen and phosphorus rates reduced LER in both regions. Here, we show for the first time that while additional phosphorus increases yield gain for Africa it can reduce absolute yields in China. Therefore, the African farmers are recommended to adopt strip or relay-strip intercropping, common bean insertion into intercropping or moderate phosphorus fertilizer application to substantially improve yield gain and income. For China, minimizing fertilizer use by including intercropping with more legume diversity may contribute to reduced environmental problems while achieving high yield gain.
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    34 African countries
    35 African farmers
    36 China
    37 absolute yield
    38 additional phosphorus
    39 annual grain legumes
    40 applications
    41 bean
    42 bean intercrop
    43 benefits
    44 countries
    45 crop yield
    46 data
    47 diversity
    48 efficiency
    49 environmental problems
    50 equivalent ratio
    51 extent
    52 faba bean
    53 farmers
    54 fertilizer application
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    56 first time
    57 gain
    58 grain legumes
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    60 higher yield gains
    61 highest land equivalent ratio
    62 highest mean
    63 income
    64 insertion
    65 intensification
    66 intercropping
    67 intercrops
    68 land equivalent ratio
    69 land use efficiency
    70 legume diversity
    71 legume intercropping
    72 legumes
    73 maize
    74 maize/faba bean
    75 maize/peanut
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    78 nitrogen
    79 overall value
    80 overall yield gain
    81 peanut
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