Growth assessment of juvenile oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) intercropped with fruit vegetables in a rainforest zone of Nigeria

Ayodele Samuel OLUWATOBI, Kehinde Stephen OLORUNMAIYE, Olabisi Fatimo ADEKOLA

Abstract


Improper intercropping of Elaeis guineensis with other crops has impaired the growth and development of the oil palm due to competition for environmental resources. The study was conducted to investigate the impact of intercropping on the growth of juvenile oil palm for 2 years. The research commenced during the rainy season of 2016 at an established juvenile oil palm plantation in Ala, Akure-North Local Government of Ondo State. Four fruit vegetables were intercropped separately within the alley of the plantation at 1, 2 or 3 m away from the oil palms in a randomized complete block design. Growth parameters of the juvenile oils were assessed. Results revealed that at 16 weeks after intercropping (WAI), the intercropped oil palm recorded better growth performance with higher canopy spread, number of frond, number of leaflets and trunk height (218.20, 37.00, 87.48 and 38.17 cm) respectively, than the sole oil palms (214.67, 32.83, 72.89 and 31.67 cm) respectively. There were no significant difference in all the growth parameters examined except canopy height (p < 0.05). Juvenile oil palm cultivated in rainforest agroecological zone of Nigeria can be intercropped with fruit vegetables without any deleterious effect when intercropped at minimum of 1 m away from the oil palms.


Keywords


immature oil palm; fruit vegetables; intercroping; growth and development; weed menagement

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14720/aas.2020.116.2.889

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