Effect of the application of the leaf mulch of Gliricidia sepium on early development, leaf nutrient contents and tuber yields of water yam (Dioscorea alata)
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This paper describes the effects of the leaf mulch of Gliricidia sepium on the development and yield of Water Yam, Dioscorea alata. Using leaf mulch, the time taken for the yam setts to sprout can be shortened by approximately 20 percent.
Organic mulches contain considerable quantities of plant nutrients. Increasing amounts of mulch improved the leaf nutrient contents of the yam crop and resulted in significantly higher tuber yields. Over a tuber yield range up to c. 15 tons ha−1 each additional ton DM Gliricidia sepium mulch applied resulted in a yield increment of about 2 ton yam tubers. A nutrient supply — nutrient extraction balance is discussed, comparing mulch applied and yam tubers harvested.
Mulching as agricultural technique is a useful and affordable tool in adapting low external input cropping systems to local economic and environmental conditions.
Key wordsLow External Input Agricultural Technology Gliricidia sepium leaf mulch Dioscorea alata yam sett germination yam leaf nutrient content yam tuber yields humid Ivory Coast
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