Acta Scientific Microbiology (ISSN: 2581-3226)

Research Article Volume 5 Issue 8

Evaluating the Effects of Leucaena leucocephala Biomass and Planting Pits on Soil Moisture Content and Maize (Zea mays L) Performance

Andrew Tapiwa Kugedera1,2*, Mawoneyi Forget Mupfiga1 and Letticia Kudzai Kokerai3

1Chirichoga High School, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Masvingo, Zimbabwe

2Department of Agriculture Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Zimbabwe Open University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe

3Department of Crop and Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture, Resettlement, Lands, Water and Fisheries, Masvingo, Zimbabwe

*Corresponding Author: Andrew Tapiwa Kugedera, Chirichoga High School, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Masvingo, Zimbabwe.

Received: April 20, 2022; Published: July 13, 2022


Soil infertility and moisture stress are major constraints hindering crop production in semi-arid areas. Most soils are sandy loams which are infertile with low weatherable minerals. Smallholder farmers are resource poor farmers who are unable to afford large quantities of mineral fertilisers. Low and erratic rainfall plays an important role in causing moisture stress. Adoption of climate smart agriculture must be speeded to increase food security. The overall objective was to evaluate the effects of Leucaena leucocephala biomass and planting pits on soil moisture content and maize performance. The experiment was laid as completely randomised block design with soil moisture conservation as main factor and L. leucocephala biomass as subplot factor with three levels. Data was analysed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using Genstat version 14. Results show significant effect (P < 0.05) on soil moisture content due to application of Leucaena biomass at different rates. Highest soil moisture content was 11.5% at 0-20 cm and 12.5% from 20-40 cm after application of 5 t ha-1 biomass. Planting pits had higher soil moisture content for both depths. Interactive effects of Leucaena biomass and rainwater harvesting practices show significant effects (P < 0.05) on maize grain yield. Highest maize grain yield was 3326.8 kg ha-1 from treatment with 5 t ha-1 biomass. Planting pits recorded higher stover yield which was significantly different (P < 0.05) from flat cultivation. It can be concluded that the use of L. leucocephala biomass and rainwater harvesting of planting pits improved soil moisture content and maize yields. Farmers are recommended to use 5tha-1 of biomass in combination with planting pits to increase soil moisture content, grain and stover yields of maize.

Keywords: Leucaena leucocephala; Planting Pits; Soil Moisture; Maize


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Citation: Andrew Tapiwa Kugedera., et al. “Evaluating the Effects of Leucaena leucocephala Biomass and Planting Pits on Soil Moisture Content and Maize (Zea mays L) Performance". Acta Scientific Microbiology 5.8 (2022): 79-83.


Copyright: © 2022 Andrew Tapiwa Kugedera., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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