In Situ Rain Water Harvesting Techniques Increase Maize Growth and Grain Yield in a Semi-arid Agro-ecology of Nyagatare, Rwanda

Mudatenguha, Ferdinand and Anena, Jennifer and Kiptum, Clement K and Mashingaidze, Arnold B. (2014) In Situ Rain Water Harvesting Techniques Increase Maize Growth and Grain Yield in a Semi-arid Agro-ecology of Nyagatare, Rwanda. pp. 996-1000. ISSN 1560-8530

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Abstract

Droughts, short growing seasons and poorly distributed rainfall are major constraints to maize production in eastern semi-arid region of Rwanda. In situ rain water harvesting offers an alternative option to reduce rainwater runoff, increase infiltration and storage of water in soil and reduce the effects of drought stress on maize grain yield. The objective of the study was to assess the effects of in situ water harvesting techniques on soil moisture content, maize growth and grain yield in Nyagatare, Rwanda in the 2011-2012 seasons. The study comprised of four treatments: pot holing, tied-ridging and mulching compared to control treatment of planting on the flat. The experimental design was randomized complete block with three replicates. Soil moisture content and maize plant dry weight were measured at 8, 11 and 14 weeks after emergence (WAE). There was a significant increase (P<0.001) in soil moisture content and maize plant dry weight from planting on the flat (control), pot hole, tied ridges to mulching at 8, 11 and 14 WAE. Yield components (ear mass, number of grains per ear and 100 grain weight) and grain yield significantly increased (P<0.001) from planting on the flat, pot holes, tied ridges and were highest in the mulched treatment. Maize grain yield increased(P<0.001) by 49.6, 103 and 136% of the maize grain yield harvested from the flat planting(1593.36 kg ha-1) in the pot-holing, tied ridging and mulching treatments, respectively. The results of this study indicate that mulching, tied ridges and pot holes, in decreasing order of effectiveness, have potential to increase soil moisture content and reduce the damage caused by drought stress to maize growth and grain yield and therefore recommended for farmers in Nyagatare and other drought prone regions. © 2014 Friends Science Publishers

Item Type: Article
Subjects: S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Divisions: Universities > State Universities > Chinhoyi University of Technology
Depositing User: Professor Arnold Bray Mashingaidze
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 08:59
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 08:59
URI: http://researchdatabase.ac.zw/id/eprint/3161

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