Effects of intercropping systems and Rhizobium inoculation on yields of maize (Zea mays) and two legumes (Phaseolus vulgaris and Dolichos lablab)

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/02/2017
Views (325) Download (5)

Effects of intercropping systems and Rhizobium inoculation on yields of maize (Zea mays) and two legumes (Phaseolus vulgaris and Dolichos lablab)

Prosper I. Massawe, Kelvin M. Mtei, Linus K. Munishi, Patrick A. Ndakidemi
Int. J. Biosci.10( 2), 188-200, February 2017.
Certificate: IJB 2017 [Generate Certificate]


This study aimed to assess the effect of intercropping systems, Rhizobium inoculation and legumes on yield components and grain yields of maize and two legumes. To achieve this objective, field experiments were executed at Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) for two cropping seasons. A randomised complete block design was used in a 3-factorial arrangement with two levels of Rhizobium (with and without rhizobia), 2 legumes (P. vulgaris and D. lablab) and 5 intercropping systems. The results showed that Rhizobium inoculation, cropping systems and legumes significantly (P≤0.001) increased maize and legumes yield components and grain yields in two seasons. The interaction between Rhizobium inoculation, legumes and cropping systems had significant effect (P≤0.001) on some of yield components and grains yield of maize and legumes in both seasons. These results suggest a significant yield increment by more than 35% when the two legumes were inoculated and intercropped with maize. Therefore based on these experimental findings, farmers should be advised to use Rhizobium as biofertilizers in maize-legumes intercrop as these improve soil fertility and crops yield.


Alhaji IH. 2008. Yield performance of some cowpea varieties under sole and intercropping with maize at Bauchi, Nigeria. African Research Review 2, 278- 291. https://doi.org/10.4314/afrrev.v2i3.41073

Asmat U, Bhatti MA, Gurmani ZA, Imran M. 2004. Planting Patterns of Maize (Zea mays L) Facilitating Legumes Intercropping. Asian Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences 2, 507- 522.

Ayisi KK, Mpangane PNZ. 2004. Growth and symbiotic activities of cowpea cultivars in sole and binary cultures with maize Tropical Legumes for Sustainable Farming Systems in Southern Africa and Australia. In: Whitbread, A.M., and B.C. Pengelly (Eds.) ACIAR proceedings 115, 94- 97.

Baltazari A. 2014. Bean density suppression of weeds in maize bean intercropping under conventional and conservation tillage systems in arusha, Tanzania. Published dissertation submitted in the partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Crop Science of Sokoine University of Agriculture Morogoro, Tanzania, 22- 52.

Bambara S, Ndakidemi PA. 2010. Phaseolus vulgaris Response to Rhizobium Inoculation, Lime and Molybdenum in Selected Low pH Soil in Western Cape, South Africa. African Journal of Agricultural Research 5, 1804- 1811.

Biswas JC, Ladha JK, Dazzo FB. 2000. Rhizobia inoculation improves nutrient uptake and growth of lowland rice. Soil Science Society of America Journal 64, 1644- 1650. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2000. 6451644x

Carlson JD. 2008. Intercropping with Maize in Sub-arid Regions: Community planning and Analysis technical brief, 6.

Dahmardeh M, Ghanbari A, Syahsar BA, Ramrodi M. 2010. The role of intercropping maize (Zea mays L.) and Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) on yield and soil chemical properties. African Journal of Agricultural Research 5, 631- 636.

Dahmardeh M, Ghanbari A, Syasar B, Ramroudi M. 2009. Effect of intercropping maize (Zea mays L.) with cow pea (Vigna unguiculata L.) on green forage yield and quality evaluation. Asian Journal of Plant Science 8, 235- 239. https://doi.org/ 10.3923/ajps.2009.235.239

Dapaah HK, Asafu-Agyei JN, Ennin SA, Yamoah C. 2003. Yield stability of cassava, maize, soya bean and cowpea intercrops. Journal of Agricultural Science 140, 73- 82. https://doi.org/ 10.1017/S0021859602002770

Fageria NK. 2014. Nitrogen harvest index and its association with crop yields. Journal of Plant Nutrition 37, 795- 810. https://doi.org/10.1080/ 01904167.2014.881855

Hefny MR, Doli-ski WM. 2001. Variation in symbiotic characters of alfalfa cultivars inoculated with Sinorhizobium meliloti strains. Biology and Fertility Soils 33, 435- 437. https://doi.org/10.1007 /s003740100339

Hungria M, Bohrer TRJ. 2000. Variability of nodulation and dinitrogen fixation capacity among soybean cultivars. Biology and Fertility Soils 31, 45-52. https://doi.org/10.1007/s003740050622

Ibrahim KA, Elsheikh EAE, Naim AMEI, Mohamed EA. 2011. Effect of Bradyrhizobium Inoculation on Yield and Yield’s Components of Soybean (Glycine max (L.) grown in Sudan. Australian Journal of Basic Applied Sciences 5, 793- 799.

Jama BA, Nair PKR. 2000. Decomposition and nitrogen- mineralization pattern of Leucaena leucocephala and Cassia siamea mulch under tropical semiarid conditions in Kenya. Plant Soil 179, 275- 285. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00009338

Kisetu E, Mtakimwa ZS. 2013. Incorporating pigeon pea compost with Minjingu fertilizer brands to determine their effects on maize production in Morogoro, Tanzania. World Journal of Agricultural Science 1, 294 – 298.

Ledgard SJ, Giller KE. 1995. Atmospheric N2-fixation as alternative nitrogen source. In: Bacon, P. (Ed.) Nitrogen Fertilization and the Environment. Marcel Dekker, New York, 443- 486.

Lemlem A. 2013. The effect of intercropping maize with cowpea and lablab on crop yield. Relief society of Tigray (REST). Herald Journal of Agriculture and Food Science Research 2, 156– 170.

Li L, Zhang FS, Li XL, Christie P, Sun JH, Yang SC, Tang C. 2003. Interspecific facilitation of nutrient uptake by intercropped maize and faba bean. Nutrient Cycling and Agro-ecosystems 65, 61- 71. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021885032241

Lindemann WC, Glover CR. 2003. Nitrogen fixation by legumes. Cooperative Extension Service, College of Agriculture and Home Economics. New Mexico State University, 6- 18.

Mc Cann JC. 2007. Maize and Grace: Africa’s En­counter with a New World Crop, 1500-2000, Har­vard University Press, Cambridge 5- 12.

Mfilinge A, Mtei KM, Ndakidemi PA. 2015. Economic benefit of rhizobial inoculation and fertilisation with phosphorus and potassium on selected bush bean varieties (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in northern Tanzania. African Journal of Applied Agricultural Science and Technology 2, 57- 71.

Morad M, Sara S, Alireza E, Reza CM, Mohammad D. 2013. Effects of seed inoculation by Rhizobium strains on yield and yield components in common bean cultivars (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). International Journal of Biosciences 3, 134- 141. https://doi.org/10.12692/ijb/3.3.134-141

Moriri S, Owoeye LG, Mariga IK. 2010. Influence of component crop densities and planting patterns on maize production in dry land maize/cowpea intercropping systems. African Journal of Agricultural Research 5, 1200- 1207.

Mpairwe DR, Sabiiti EN, Ummuna NN, Tegegne A, Osuji P. 2002. Effect of intercropping cereal crops with forage legumes and source of nutrients on cereal grain yield and fodder dry matter yields. African Crop Science Journal 10, 81- 97. https://doi.org/10.4314/acsj.v10i1.27559

Mutungamiri A, Mariga IK, Chivinge OA. 2001. Effect of maize density, bean cultivar and bean spatial arrangement on intercrop performance. African Crop Science Journal 9, 487- 497.

Ndakidemi PA, Semoka J. 2006. Soil fertility survey in western Usambara Mountains, northern Tanzania. Pedosphere 16, 237- 244. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/S1002-0160(06)60049-0

Ndung’u KW, Kwambai TK, Barkutwo J, Wanjekeche E, Mulati J, Kifuko M, Wanyonyi M, Nyambati E. 2005. Effect of different spatial arrangements on yield of maize and different bean varieties in north rift Kenya. African Crop Science Conference Proceedings. pp 1216- 1222.

Olufemi O, Pitan R, Odebiyi JA. 2001. The effect of intercropping with maize on the level of infestation and damage by pod-sucking bugs in cowpea. Crop Protection 20, 367- 372. https://doi.org/10.1016/ S0261-2194(00)00135-6

Parihar CM, Jat SL, Singh AK, Hooda KS, Chikkappa GK, Singh DK, Saikumar R. 2011. Maize Produc­tion Technologies. Tech. Bull. No.3. Directorate of Maize Research, New Delhi. India.

Peksen E. 2007. Non-destructive leaf area estimation model for faba bean (Vicia faba L.). Scientia Horticulturae 113, 322– 328. https://doi.org /10.1016/j.scienta.2007.04.003

Rufino MC, Tittonell P, van Wijk MT, Castellanos-Navarrete A, Delve RJ, de Ridder N, Giller KE. 2007. Manure as a key resource within smallholder farming systems: analysing farm-scale nutrient cycling efficiencies with the NUANCES framework. Livestock Science 112, 273– 287. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2007.09.011

Saha HM, Njunie MN, Tsanje NM. 2000. Legume screening for soil fertility improvement in coastal lowlands of Kenya. In J.G. Mureithi et al. (Ed.). A compilation of selected papers presented at the Soil Management and Legume Research Network Projects conference: Kanamai 24-26 Mar. 1997. Participatory technology development for soil management by small holders in Kenya. Special publication of the Soil Management and Legume Research Network Projects. KARI, Nairobi, Kenya. pp 87- 99.

Saleem R, Ahmed ZI, Ashraf M, Arif M, Malik MA, Munir M, Khan MA. 2011. Response of maize-legume intercropping system to different fertility sources under rainfed conditions. Sarhad Journal of Agriculture 27, 504- 511.

Song YN, Zhang FS, Marschner P, Fan FL, Gao HM, Bao XG, Li L. 2007. Effect of intercropping on crop yield and chemical and microbiological properties in rhizosphere of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), maize (Zea mays L.), and faba bean (Vicia faba L.). Biology and Fertility Soils 43, 565– 574. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00374-006-0139-9

Tairo EV, Ndakidemi PA. 2013. Bradyrhizobium japonicum Inoculation and phosphorus supplementation on growth and chlorophyll accumulation in soybean (Glycine max L.). American Journal of Plant Sciences 4, 2281- 2289. https://doi.org/10.4236/ajps.2013.412282

Thobatsi TJ. 2009. Growth and yield response of maize (Zea mays L.) and Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) in intercropping system. Masters dissertation. University of Pretoria, South Africa 23- 47.

Vanlauwe B, Bationo A, Chianu J, Giller KE, Merckx R, Mokwunye U, Ohiokpehai O, Pypers P, Tabo R, Shepherd K, Smaling EMA, Woomer PL. 2010. Integrated soil fertility management: operational definition and consequences for implementation and dissemination. Outlook Agriculture 39, 17- 24. https://doi.org/ 10.5367/000000010791169998