Role of Pigeonpea Cultivation on Soil Fertility and Farming System Sustainability in Ghana

Adjei-Nsiah, S. (2012) Role of Pigeonpea Cultivation on Soil Fertility and Farming System Sustainability in Ghana. International Journal of Agronomy (702506). pp. 1-8.

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The productivity of the smallholder farming system in Ghana is under threat due to soil fertility decline. Mineral fertilizer is sparingly being used by smallholder farmers because of prohibitive cost. Grain legumes such as pigeonpea can play a complementary or alternative role as a source of organic fertilizer due to its ability to enhance soil fertility. Despite its importance, the potential of pigeonpea as a soil fertility improvement crop has not been exploited to any appreciable extent and the amount of land cultivated to pigeonpea in Ghana is vey negligible. This paper synthesizes recent studies that have been carried out on pigeonpea in Ghana and discusses the role of pigeonpea cultivation in soil fertility management and its implication for farming system sustainability. The paper shows that recent field studies conducted in both the semi-deciduous forest and the forest/savanna transitional agro-ecological zones of Ghana indicate that pigeonpea/maize rotations can increase maize yield by 75–200%. Barrier to widespread adoption of pigeonpea include land tenure, market, and accessibility to early maturing and high yielding varieties. The paper concludes among other things that in order to promote the cultivation of pigeonpea in Ghana, there is the need to introduce varieties that combine early maturity with high yields and other desirable traits based on farmers preferences.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The author is grateful to the two anonymous reviewers who reviewed an earlier version of this paper. Financial support towards this work provided by the Interdisciplinary Research and Education Fund (INREF) of Wageningen University and Research Centre, and The Netherlands and the Dutch Ministry for International Cooperation (DGIS) is gratefully acknowledged. The author also thanks the International Development Centre for funding the climate change adaption in Africa project through the University of Zimbabwe
Author Affiliation: Forest and Horticultural Crops Research Centre, Kade, Institute of Agricultural Research, College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana, P.O. Box 68, Legon, Ghana
Subjects: Plant Production
Soil Science and Microbiology
Divisions: Pigeonpea
Depositing User: Mr. SanatKumar Behera
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2012 10:43
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2012 10:44
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