Improved crop management systems for sustainable cassava production in sub-Saharan Africa

Submitted by joy.adiele on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 11:00
Joy Geraldine Adiele
Prof. Ken Giller
Drs. AGT Schut and AO Ano

Projections are that crop production will have to increase 55 % by 2030 and 85 % to over 100 % by 2050, if we are to feed approximately the 9 billion people expected by the year 2050. The population of Nigeria increased from 118 million in 2000 to 145 million in 2010 and is currently estimated to be 178.5 million. Cassava is an important food crop for the growing population and can provide raw materials for export-oriented industries. However, the current cropping systems are not sustainable and yields are low, especially when compared to the yield potential. To improve current crop management, there is need to better quantify the crop’s requirements for both macro- and micro-nutrients and understand how nutrient deficiencies impact crop growth in various agro-ecological zones. The study will investigate the effects of combinations of NPK fertilizer, micronutrients and intercropping with dual-purpose legumes for improved cassava production. Experimental locations are selected in three contrasting regions of Nigeria. We will test and improve cassava crop growth models to accurately assess yield gaps, test approaches to quantify effects of nutrient deficiencies on cassava growth and provide advice for improved fertilizer blends and applications. Also, we will examine different cropping systems and establish an improved cropping system that will increase agricultural productivity sustainably in Nigeria.

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