Katsaruware and Gwembire
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 3 (11), pp. 769-777, November 2013.
ISSN: 2276-7770 © 2011 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 102313921
The Effect of Agro-forestry (Leucaena leucocephala) Tree Pruning’s in Priming Media as a Nutrient Source in Early Crop Establishment for Maize (Zea mays) in Zimbabwe
*1Katsaruware Rumbidzai Debra, 2Gwembire Justin
1Lecturer, Faculty of Science and Technology: Department of Agricultural Management, Zimbabwe Open University, Mashonaland West Region. P O Box 285 Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.
2Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Teacher Development, Zimbabwe Open University, Mashonaland West Region. P O Box 285, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.
2Email: jgwembire @ gmail.com, Telephone: 067-29345/6, Cell: +263 773 919 807
*Corresponding Author’s Email: rdkatsaruware @ gmail.com, Telephone: 067-29345/6,
Cell: +263 733 831 052
Maize crop establishment is a major problem in smallholder
farming. A field experiment was carried out in Hurungwe
district (Zimbabwe) in the 2011/12 growing season to
determine the role of agroforestry tree pruning's (Leucaena
leucocephala) in priming media for crop establishment.
In the experiment, concentrations of 0, 50, 100, 150 and
200g l-1 were used in varying seed with soaking periods of
16, 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours in priming media. The results
showed that percentage germination, radicle length and the
germination time were significantly (p<0.05) affected by
soaking period and pruning concentrations. Shoot dry mass of
maize was not significantly affected (p<0.05) by pruning
concentration and soaking period. Results suggest that the
optimum concentration of pruning required for initiation of
above ground plant growth falls within the 100-150g l-1
range. Furthermore, increase in concentration resulted in
progressive decline in the germination rate. Soaking seeds
for 24 hours at 100g l-1 improved the crop establishment.
Smallholder farmers can utilize a pruning concentration of
100g l-1 for 24 hours to enhance nutrient availability to
the seed. In addition, use of the amended priming media is
encouraged to enhance early crop germination and offset the
effect of inherent soil acidity and infertility that
characterize most parts of the country.
Keywords: Agroforestry, establishment. Leucaena, maize, nutrient.