Development of high yielding synthetic maize (Zea mays L.) varieties suitable for intercropping with common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.).

Muraya MM



The objective of the study was to select and develop high yielding synthetic maize variety suitable for intercropping with common bean. S1 selection method was used to extract lines from Kakamega Striga Tolernt Population (KSTP) maize and Embu population, and the best 10 lines were recombined to form synthetic maize varieties which were evaluated against KSTP and recommended commercial hybrid (H512) under monoculture and intercropping. The study led to development of two synthetic maize varieties. Egerton synthetic I had the highest light transmission to the ground and gave the highest bean yield (23% reduction over bean monocrop) under intercrop system. It was the best for intercropping with beans. Egerton synthetic II gave the highest maize grain yield (41% yield increase over KSTP). Intercropping Egerton synthetic II with beans offered the highest benefits. There was no significant difference between Egerton synthetic II and H512 in terms of grain yield. The study showed that it is possible to bred genotypes for intercropping system. Intercropping beans with maize selected and bred for intercropping supported transgressive yielding and thus can contribute to food security.


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