Towards bamboo agroforestry development in Ghana: evaluation of crop performance, soil properties and economic benefit

Akoto, D S and Partey, S T and Denich, M and Kwaku, M and Borgemeister, C and Schmitt, C B (2020) Towards bamboo agroforestry development in Ghana: evaluation of crop performance, soil properties and economic benefit. Agroforestry Systems (TSI). ISSN 0167-4366

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In the quest to promote bamboo agroforestry in the dry semi-deciduous forest zone of Ghana, we evaluated changes in soil properties, crop productivity and the economic potential of a bamboobased intercropping system. The intercropping system was established from 3-months old sympodial bamboo (Bambusa balcooa) seedlings planted at a 5 m95 m spacing and intercropped with maize, cassava or cowpea. Separate monocropping fields for maize, cassava, cowpea and bamboo were set up adjacent to the intercropped field. In both the intercropping and monocropping fields, plots were with fertilizer treatments and without. The experiment was laid out in a split plot design with four replicates and studied over three years. Economic analysis was conducted using the financial benefit-cost ratio method. The results showed that regardless of fertilizer treatments, bamboo agroforestry and monocropped fields had comparable effects on soil properties and crop productivity within two years of establishment. In the third year, however, bamboo agroforestry had significantly (p\0.05) higher soil moisture, pH and crop productivity levels. An intercropping advantage over monocropping was evident for all crops with respective partial land equivalent ratios for fertilized and non-fertilized intercropped systems as follows: cowpea (1.37 and 1.54), maize (1.38 and 1.36), and cassava (1.12 and 1.19). The economic evaluation also indicated marginal profitability of bamboo intercropping over monocropping systems. From the results obtained, there are clear indications that where bamboo is a prioritized woody perennial, integrated systems with crops may be encouraged.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agroecology, Crop productivity, Food security, Soil productivity, Sustainable agriculture
Subjects: Others > Ghana
Others > Sustainable Agriculture
Others > Crop Yield
Others > Soil Science
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Others > Food Security
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 11:36
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2020 11:36
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: Open Access funding provided by Projekt DEAL. This paper was produced as an activity of BiomassWeb (grant no. 031A258A), a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the context of the initiative GlobE ‘‘Securing the Global Food Supply’’. BiomassWeb is managed by the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany. Authors are also very grateful to Dr. Obiri-Darko (Principal Scientist- Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, (FORIG)/ CSIR-Ghana) and International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR) for the consultancy work on the economic analysis.
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