Potential of triple and double cropping with and without irrigation in the Sudan and Northern Guinea Savanna Zones of West Africa


The rapid increase in population and consequent pressure for food is driving agriculture towards greater intensification in West Africa. Various options, including double and triple cropping with and without irrigation, have to be employed for intensification to succeed. Double and triple cropping with irrigation in the Sudan and Sahel Savanna and without irrigation in the Northern Guinea Savanna of West Africa were explored as possible options for intensification in these areas. A total grain yield of 8-10 tons/ha per annum was obtained in the Sudan and Sahel Savanna with irrigation. This was made up of 2-4 tons/ha of wheat, 0.9-1.5 tons/ha of cowpea, and 4-4.5 tons/ha of rice. It was concluded that triple cropping is a viable option for intensification in the Sudan and Sahel Savanna where irrigation facilities are available. In the Northern Guinea Savanna, the rainy season starts in June and ends in September with a few showers in May and October. Taking advantage of extra early maturing varieties of cowpea, farmers obtained an average of 0.7-1.1 tons/ha of cowpea as a first crop, 3-4 tons/ha of maize, and 0.8-1.3 tons/ha of cowpea as a third crop. Relay cropping of legumes in cereals was tested in the Sudan and Northern Guinea Savanna Zones. The total grain and fodder (cowpea and maize) produced by the relay cropping system was higher than the sole crops. This implies that if the cropping system of the Sudan Savanna is to be intensified, relay cropping is a potential option.

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Publication: Book of Abstracts, African Crop Science Society Conference
Number of pages: 3
File type: External site

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