Plantain (Musa paradisiaca AAB Group) is an important crop in sub Saharan Africa where about 70 million people derive their livelihood from it (Vuylsteke, 2001). The main plantain production system in Africa consists of small backyard plots with a few plants (Swennen 1990) and whose expansion and orchards has often been hampered by the scarcity of planting materials (Schill et al., 1997; Nkendah and Akyearpong, 2003). Farmers depend on natural regeneration of plants for the supply of planting materials (suckers) but this is a slow process due to hormone-mediated apical dominance of the mother plant (De langhe 24 et al., 1983; Swennen, 1984;Swennen et al., 1984; Ortiz and ...view middle of the document...
There has been no study on the effect of paring and macro-propagation on the performance of plantain propagules. This paper presents data from an investigation on the performance of three cultivars of plantain propagules to paring.
Materials and Methods
The study was conducted on the Teaching and Research Farm, University of Ado- Ekiti during the dry season (November to February) of 2011. The site used for the study was a plot previously planted to yam, cowpea, maize and cassava. Twenty kilograms of the top soil- a sandy loam were weighed into each of 18 polythene bags of 55cm height and 40cm depth. There were six
treatments as follows:
•HNP – Horn + non-pared
•HP – Horn + pared
•FHNP – False Horn + non-pared
•FHP – False Horn + pared
•FRNP – French + non-pared
•FRP – French + pared
The trial was arranged in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD and treatments were replicated three times. The propagules used for the study were harvested suckers of False horn, French and True horn plantain cultivars. The pseudo stems of the suckers were cut off and the corms uprooted. The corms were split into pieces weighing about 25g and containing at least 2-3 buds each. Two propagules of each cultivar were planted into eighteen bags. Watering and weeding exercise were frequently done. Data collected include pseudostem height and girth (measured in cm) and leaf area (cm2) at two week intervals starting from 8th week after planting.The leaf area was calculated as length x width x 0.83 (Obiefuna and Ndibizu, 1979). These data were subjected to analysis of variance; means were separated using 68 Duncan's Multiple RangeTest at 5% level of probability.
The study had shown variable cultivar response of Musa species to propagule emergence and growth through macro propagation. Propagule emergence was observed to vary among the treatments. This suggests that emergence of propagules may not be totally dependent on paring or cultivar type.The effect of paring on growth parameters such as plant height, plant girth and leaf area showed that no significant differences occurred between pared and non-pared suckers. The fact that these parameters seemed greater in non-pared suckers might be an indication of stress on pared suckers as a result of wound from paring. Nevertheless, paring of suckers before planting them into the field would help to expose larval galleries and also reduce snapping and toppling resulting from banana weevil and nematode damage (Hauser, 2006). An investigation carried out on the incidence of banana weevil and parasitic nematodes in the second ratoon of plantain grown from pared and non- pared suckers also revealed that growth in the plot established from non- pared suckers was enhanced in the second ratoon crop despite the high incidence of weevils and parasitic nematodes (Oso et al., 2010) Among the three propagules cultivars used for this study, false horn cultivar gave the tallest height, thickest girth and largest leaf...