Understanding the productivity of cassava in West Africa

Promotie

Understanding the productivity of cassava in West Africa

Promovendus KS (Guillaume) Ezui
Promotor prof.dr. KE (Ken) Giller
Copromotor dr.ir. AC (Linus) Franke
Copromotor dr. A Mando
Organisatie Wageningen University & Research, Plant Production Systems
Datum

vr 3 februari 2017 16:00 tot 17:30

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
362
6703 BG Wageningen
0317-483592
Crop production in Sub-Saharan Africa is highly dependent on rainfall. We investigated the effects of water shortage and fertilizer on growth and storage root yields of cassava, which is increasingly grown as cash crop. Based on an integrated approach combining farm surveys, field experiments and crop growth modelling, we found that water shortage can reduce yields by 9-60%. However, application of potassium fertilizer increased cassava water use efficiency, radiation use efficiency and yield on potassium deficient soils. Thus better potassium management can protect cassava from drought and increase yields. Balanced nutrition that maximizes nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium use efficiencies substantially increased yields and produced up to twice the benefit:cost ratio of blanket fertilizer recommendations that ignored diversity in climate and soils. Our results indicate that site-specific fertilizer recommendations can be used to increase cassava yields under rain-fed conditions in West Africa, and fertilizers including potassium can be climate smart!