Tepary bean: a climate smart crop for food and nutritional security
Mafongoya, Paramu, L.
MetadataShow full item record
The variability of climate demands the use of a variety of agronomic strategies and crop choices. Traditional drought tolerant crops such as sorghum are often chosen when drought seasons are anticipated. However, there are crops, tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolias), such as that could help increase diversity of crops that can be grown in changed climates. Trials were conducted to determine the growth of tepary bean on station and in the field. In the field it was compared to other commonly used legumes such as cowpea, Bambara nut, groundnut and pigeon pea. Tepary bean matured in 54 days after planting, the earliest among all the legumes. A second experiment was done to determine the effects of inorganic fertilizer and rhizobium inoculation on the growth and grain yield of field grown tepary bean. This was conducted in a randomized complete block design with three replications at the University of Zimbabwe Crop Science fields. The treatments were: basal fertilizer with top dressing, basal fertilizer only, top dressing fertilizer only, rhizobium with top dressing fertilizer, rhizobium only and neither control with no rhizobium or any inorganic fertilizer (control). There were significant differences in biomass yield between the treatment with basal fertilizer+top dressing and the control (P<0.05). Podding showed significant differences between treatments (P<0.05). Results showed that a combination of ammonium nitrate with either compound D or rhizobium produced similar yield. Rhizobium with top dressing fertilizer had a mean yield of 0.57 t/ha whilst basal fertilizer with top dressing had 0.60 t/ha. We conclude that resource poor farmers, affected by drought effects of climate change, can use rhizobium for optimum production of tepary bean, in variable climate and drought seasons and still get a yield. This is crucial for food and nutritional security of vulnerable households affected by climate change and variability.