Abstract Of Effect of Plant Spacing and Number of Seeds Per Pod on the Performance of Groundnut in F.c.t Abuja.
The effects of plant spacing and number of seeds per pod on the performance of groundnut (Rachis hypogeae) was investigated. The field trial was conducted as a 2×3 factorial laid down in a randomised complete block design (RCBD). Three plant spacing (20cm x 20cm, 40cmx40cm and 60cm x60cm) and number of seed per pod (1 seed pod and 2 seed pod) were used as treatment. There were three replication of each treatments. Data collected was statistically analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and separation of means for significant effect was by the use of least significant difference (LSD). The result showed that 1 seed pod at 40cmx 40cm produced the highest number of leaves (16.22), and number of branches (11.98). The highest number of pod was recorded at one seed pod 40cm x 40cm and at treatments 60cm x60cm spacing. The tallest and the most profuse branch plant (11.98), highest number of leaves (16.3) and heaviest seed at (2.81g). The highest number of pods was recorded at the widest plant spacing (60cm x 60cm).
Key words: groundnut, plant spacing, number of seed per pod, vegetative growth and yield.
Groundnut (Arachis hypogea. L) is the 6th most important oil seed crop in the world. It contains 48-50% oil, 26-28% protein and 11-27% carbohydrate, mineral and vitamin (Mukhtar, 2009).
Groundnut is grown on 26.4 million hectare worldwide, with a total production of 37.1 million metric tons and an average productivity of 1.4 metric tons/ha. Developing countries constitute 97% of the global area and 94% of the global production of this crop (FAO 2011). The production of groundnut is concentrated in Asia and Africa, where the crop is grown mostly by small holder farmers under rain-fed conditions with limited inputs. Nigeria was the third highest producer of groundnut in the world after China and India with a production of 16,114,231, 6,933,000 and 2,962,760 tons respectively in 2011. In Nigeria, the crop is presently grown throughout the country with the exception of riverine and swampy areas. The leading producing states include Niger, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and Gombe states (NAERL, 2011).
Groundnut is either cultivated sole or in mixture with other crops like maize, sorghum, millet or cassava. Fifty five percent of the groundnut produced in Nigeria is in mixture (Anonymous 2004). In Nigeria, Groundnut has contributed immensely to the development of the Nigerian economy from 1956 to 1967, its products including cake and oil account for about 70% of total
Nigeria export earnings. Making it the country’s most valuable single export crop ahead of other cash crops like cotton, oil palm, cocoa and rubber (Harkness et al, 1976). Presently, it provides significant source of cash through the sales of seeds, cakes, oil and haulms (Olorunju et al, 1999). Groundnut plays an important role in the diets of rural population particularly children, because of its high contents of protein and carbohydrate. It is also rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin E. groundnut meal, a by-product of oil extraction is an important ingredient in livestock feed.
Groundnut pods yield from farmers’ fields are low, averaging about 800kgha-1 less than one-third the potential yield of 3000kgha-1. This large gap between actual and potential yields is due to several factors, including non-availability of seeds of improved variety for a particular ecology, poor soil fertility; inappropriate crop management practices pests and diseases (Ahmed et al, 2010).
In developed countries, groundnut yield has been rising through the development dissemination and efficient use of resources coupled with improved varieties whose yield range from 208 to 6.1 tons per hectare. However, in Africa, groundnut yields are still as low as 0.5 to 1.0 tons per hectare. This is in spite of efforts by various research institutes such as the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) samans, Zaria National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaisons Services (ICRISAT), e.t.c. in undertaking research on various aspects of production and improvement of the crop. It is in view of the above mentioned problems that this study was carried out to assess the effects of number of seed per pod and planting spacing on the performance of groundnut in F.C.T. The specific objectives are to determine the :
(1). Influence of spacing on the growth performance of groundnut in f.c.t Abuja
(2). Influence of spacing and pods on the yield performance of groundnut in f.c.t Abuja