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PROJECT TOPIC: EVALUATION OF CASSAVA CULTIVARS AND INTERCROPPING WITH LEGUMES AS AN INTEGRATED NEMATODE PEST CONTROL STRATEGY IN CASSAVA (MANIHOT ESCULENTA CRANTZ) PRODUCTION

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ABSTRACT

 

These studies on evaluation of cassava cultivars and intercropping with legumes as an integrated nematode control strategy in cassava      production were carried out as greenhouse/microplot and field experiments. Of the 200 cultivars screened for resistance to Meloidogyne spp., only 76 survived and from this lot only 3 lines 77/227, TMS30572 and 73/222, showed any resistance while 7 others namely NR8082, 75.668, 73/238 (Egbenegbe), 73/295, 73/118, 75740(Panya), 82/00661 and 73295B were tolerant. All the other cultivars tested were susceptible. The second experiment, to determine the economic threshold level of the root-knot nematode M. javanica populations on two cassava varieties, showed that, with the exception of the control plants, the root-knot nematode damage was obtained at all levels of the inoculum used and the root-knot nematode populations had no significant effect on the aerial growth parameters like leaf and stake weights. The two cassava varieties differed significantly in the final nematode population in their roots. The economic threshold level was identified as an initial density of 500eggs/plant. The lower pest values obtained for TMS30572 with increase in inoculum density further confirmed it to be resistant to M. javanica.

Intercropping four cassava varieties with four legume types in microplots revealed that nematode at both levels used, (0 and 1,000 eggs/plant) had no significant effect on growth and yield of the cassava but amongst sole and legume-intercropped cassava cultivars, significant differences were obtained. The feeder roots and stake/stem weights of the sole cassava varieties were significantly higher (p>0.05) than their intercropped mixtures with legumes. The highest tuber yield values were observed for NR8083 planted sole (630g/plant) followed by TMS30572 intercropped with bambaranut (537g/plant). Nematode-treated plants were significantly affected when they were destructively sampled for damage symptoms on the cassava. Though no significant effect was observed on yield, the significant nematode damage effects on the cassava indicate that the root-knot nematodes affect the outward appearance, the shelf life and storability of the cassava products. The productivity of the legumes under cassava was significantly different (p<0 .05="" 1.811="" 1="" 2.="" a="" aerial="" and="" as="" bambaranut="" between="" by="" cassava="" component.="" components.="" corresponding="" crops="" damage="" differences="" direct="" effect="" equivalent="" especially="" evidenced="" exceptions="" feeder="" few="" field="" followed="" for="" from="" g="" generally="" groundnut="" growth.="" growth="" had="" higher="" highest="" however="" in="" infection="" interaction="" intercrop="" intercropped="" intercrops.="" its="" land="" leaf="" legume="" legumes="" ler="" linear="" lower="" microplots.="" mixture.="" mixtures="" more="" nematode="" nematodes="" no="" nodules="" notably="" nr8082-bambarranut="" nr8082-groundnut="" nr8083="" number="" observed="" obtained="" of="" on="" p="" pattern="" plant="" ratio="" reduced="" relation="" results="" right="" root="" roots="" same="" scores="" seed="" significant="" significantly="" site="" sites="" sole="" span="" stake="" symptoms="" than="" that="" the="" their="" those="" through="" tms30572="" tms50395="" treatment.="" treatment="" trend="" two="" values.="" values="" variety="" was="" weights="" were="" where="" with="" yield.="" yield="" yielded="">

In line with the goal of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), integrating use of resistant cassava cultivars and intercropping with legumes has been identified as a successful IPM package for our farmers.

INTRODUCTION

 

Recognition of the importance of cassava as a vital food staple across Africa from results of collaborative studies, conducted over several years have also brought with it concerns over the declining yields of cassava due to pests and diseases; and have necessitated increasing efforts to eliminate the constraints (Okogbenin, et al., 2007; Njoku, et al., 2009; Egesi, et al., 2009; 2010). However, such efforts have hitherto been embarked upon without proper and accurate assessments of pest and diseases, crop potentials, symptoms of pest damage and feasible and sustainable pest control strategies. And this is where, according to Onyenobi (2000), integrated pest management (IPM) has come into play as the most effective and safest strategy in pest and disease control in maximizing crop protection.

 

Cassava, Manihot esculenta Crantz is a major tropical root crop found throughout the tropics (Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America ) and is vital to the subsistence economies and food security of many less developed nations (Hillocks and Wydra, 2002). It is one of the most important crops in tropical Africa and provides over 50% of the energy requirement for over 300 million people in the continent (Njoku et al., 2009). It has extremely high efficiency for caloric production over a wide range of ecological conditions, particularly on poor soils and with few inputs. It can be stored up to 3 years in the ground, serving as starvation insurance for the small farmer when other crops fail (Luc et al., 1990; Dahinya, 1994; Hillocks, 2002).

 

More cassava is now being produced in Africa than in South America where the crop originated. In many parts of Africa, several tons of cassava leaves and tender shoots are harvested and consumed as vegetables providing protein (26-41% crude protein on dry weight basis), vitamins and minerals (Hahn, 1984). Cassava has in recent years transformed from famine reserve commodity and rural staple to a cash crop in Africa.

 

Africa contributes to more than half of global supply, with Nigeria recording more than a third of African production. Nigeria is now the world’s largest cassava producer and its cassava transformation is the most advanced in Africa (Egesi et al., 2006; 2010). The scope for increasing the use of cassava in industries and export market is determined by the development of improved varieties with high traits of protein, beta-carotene; delayed post-harvest physiological deterioration (PPD) with resistance to pests


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