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Reduce pests, enhance production: benefits of intercropping at high densities for okra farmers in Cameroon

Singh, Akanksha; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Hanna, Rachid; Houmgny, Raissa and Zytynska, Sharon E. (2017) Reduce pests, enhance production: benefits of intercropping at high densities for okra farmers in Cameroon. Pest Management Science, 73, pp. 2017-2027.

[thumbnail of Pest Management Science - 2017 - Singh - Reduce pests  enhance production  benefits of intercropping at high densities for.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English
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Document available online at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ps.4636

Summary in the original language of the document

Intercropping can help reduce insect pest populations. However, the results of intercropping can be pest- and crop-species specific, with varying effects on crop yield, and pest suppression success. In Cameroon, okra vegetable is often grown in intercropped fields and sown with large distances between planting rows (∼ 2 m). Dominant okra pests include cotton aphids, leaf beetles and whiteflies. In a field experiment, we intercropped okra with maize and bean in different combinations (okra monoculture, okra–bean, okra–maize and okra–bean–maize) and altered plant densities (high and low) to test for the effects of diversity, crop identity and planting distances on okra pests, their predators and yield.
We found crop identity and plant density, but not crop diversity to influence okra pests, their predators and okra yield. Only leaf beetles decreased okra yield and their abundance reduced at high plant density. Overall, okra grown with bean at high density was the most economically profitable combination.
We suggest that when okra is grown at higher densities, legumes (e.g. beans) should be included as an additional crop. Intercropping with a leguminous crop can enhance nitrogen in the soil, benefiting other crops, while also being harvested and sold at market for additional profit. Manipulating planting distances and selecting plants based on their beneficial traits may thus help to eliminate yield gaps in sustainable agriculture.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:intercropping, crop identity, high plant density, pests, predators, yield
Agrovoc keywords:
crop diversification -> diversification
pest control
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Research affiliation:Other countries
Germany > University of Munich - TUM
Deposited By: Singh, Dr. Akanksha
ID Code:52742
Deposited On:11 Mar 2024 11:51
Last Modified:11 Mar 2024 11:51
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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