was carried out at Ibadan, Nigeria between May 2004 and October 2005 to
evaluate the use of plantain as a permanent cocoa nursery shade crop. Ibadan is
located between latitude 07?10'N and longitude 03?52'E and lies at
an altitude of about 122 metres above the sea level. The treatments consisted
of six shade regimes provided by plantain spaced at 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and, 3.1
m apart, the control had no shade at all (open planted cocoa). Each treatment
had one hundred cocoa seedlings planted in polythene bag filled with topsoil
and laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) in three
replications. Data on vegetative growth of cocoa seedlings were taken on
monthly basis, while plantain height, girth, number of leaves, bunch weight, number
of fingers and market value of each treatment were evaluated. Light intensity
under each of the treatment was taken using light meter. Result showed that
cocoa seedlings under plantain shade planted at 1.0 m and 1.5 m apart were
higher in height relative to control and other treatments considered, shade
regimes provided by spacing at 3.1 × 3.1 m and 2.5 m × 2.5 m apart on the
other hand produced higher values for stem diameter and leaf area respectively
compared to other treatments, the least values were recorded under 1.0 m × 1.0 m apart.
Seedlings under 2.5 m and 3.1 m spacing were significantly (p > 0.05) higher
for these parameters than other treatments. Higher incidence of weed was also
recorded from the control. Plantain bunch obtained from 2.5 m and 3.1 m apart was
higher than other treatments in terms of weight, number of fingers and market
value, while the control (no plantain shade) did not give any economic returns.
Hence, plantain planted at spacing of 2.5 m or 3.1 m apart could be recommended
to the cocoa farmers in Nigeria as nursery shade instead of conventional method
of using bamboo and palm fronds yearly without any additional economic return.
Cite this paper
Olatunde, F. , Oaikhena, I. , Ojo, A. , Olufemi, A. and Babatunde, A. (2014) Effects of Plantain (Musa species
) as Shade on the Growth Performance of Cocoa Seedlings in the Nursery at Ibadan, Southwest, Nigeria. Natural Science
, 447-453. doi: 10.4236/ns.2014.66043
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