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Intercropping sunflower and maize in mozambique / cultivo conjunto del girasol y maiz en mozambique / culture conjointe du tournesol et du maïs au mozambique

Lopez, Josè, Baldini, Mario, Quagliott, Luciana, Olivieri, Angelo M.
Helia 2013 v.24 no.35 pp. 1-10
Helianthus annuus, Zea mays, carbohydrates, corn, energy, food availability, intercropping, seed yield, sunflower oil, sunflower seed protein, vitamins, Mozambique
A trial was carried out in Mozambique in 1998-1999, with the aim to study the effect of three levels of maize-sunflower intercropping ratios (25:75, 50:50, 75:25) in comparison with the pure-stand crop of two sunflower and maize varieties. For both maize varieties yield per plant decreased in relation to density, being lowest in the pure-stand crop. This beaviour was partially true for sunflower. The intercropping 75:25 maize-sunflower ratio showed the highest seed yield per hectare (5195 kg ha⁻¹) and the maize and sunflower LER coefficients suggested that maize is slightly dominant over sunflower in the mixture. The relative advantage of the two species in respect to the single crop stand was about 16 and 19%. However each species and variety reached its maximum yield per hectare when it was grown as pure stand crop (100%). On the other side, when yield is examined in terms of food energy (K-calories), given by maize grain and sunflower protein and oil per hectare, maize-sunflower 75:25 mixture ratio appears to be much more convenient and suitable for food supply even when compared with the maize pure crop stand. The increase in K-calories is 380 ha⁻¹ and the better balance in carbohydrates, proteins and lipids can assure sustainability to standard farm families as those living in Mozambique. Using sunflower oil, a quite good amount of unsaturated fatty acids and lyposoluble vitamins are also supplied in the diet of farming people.