Evaluation of Yield Advantage of Maize+ Artemisia And Maize+Beans Intercrops In a Sub-Humid Ecozone Of Maseno, Western Kenya.

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Owuor, B.
Chumba, R.K.B.
Mwai, G.N.
Odhiambo, G.D.
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An experiment on intercropping systems at Maseno, western Kenya sought to evaluate the yield potential of maize indifferent maize+artemisia spacing regimes in comparison to a standard maize+bean system, by identifying the most beneficial crop combination. The productivity of these systems was evaluated using land equivalent ratios (LER), Area-Time Equivalent Ratio (ATER), and Dominance analysis for marginal rate of Returns (MRR). There were 9 treatments laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) design with 3 replications. The treatments had a significant effect on both LER and ATER (P<0.05), while maize yielded higher in maize+bean (4.5 t/ha) than in maize+Artemisia (3t1ha) intercrops. LER were comparatively higher than ATER values with yield advantages in intercrops over the pure stands, while artemisia monocrops proved to be economically more advantageous than other treatments. The identified biological yield advantages did not translate into substantial economic efficiency but Marginal analysis proved the sole crops to be inferior, whereas the % MRR revealed that maize+artemisia with optimum value of 1885 was the best spacing regime and more profitable than maize+beans intercrops at 518. Overall system productivity favoured maize+Artemisia with net field benefit of KES 76,900/ha than maize+bean (KES 42,600 /ha) intercrops; and hence farmers stand to gain better when they intercrop maize with Artemisia using a spacing of Artemisia 0.9m x 0.9m; Maize 0.9m x 0.75m than maize with beans system using Maize: 0.90m x 0.75m + 0.25 m beans line displacements of two rows in sub-humid areas.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 79 (1), pp. 9-15