Estimating yield components, limiting factors, and yield gaps of Enset in Ethiopia using easily measurable above-ground plant traits
The quantification of yield for different enset products has mainly been based on farmers’ estimates, which are often inaccurate. Several allometric models have been developed to overcome
this challenge. Building on past work, the current study developed allometric models for enset fiber, kocho, and bula yield estimation. Enset yield limiting factors and associated yield gaps were
also determined. In this study, above-ground growth and yield (kocho, bula, and fiber) traits of five-year-old plants of two widely grown enset landraces, ‘Unjame’ and ‘Siskela’, were assessed
in farmers’ fields at three contrasting altitude sites.
Except for bula, a minor yield component, correlation, and PCA analysis showed strong association between the above-ground and yield traits.
Allometric equations based on the above-ground traits significantly (R2 = 25 to 68%) explained the variation in the yield traits. This study, for the first time, generated allometric models that can
reliably estimate enset fiber yield. Leaf length, petiole length, and plant height are especially good for estimating fiber and kocho yields. The performance of models for bula were poor possibly due to the very low bula yields per plant. Soil chemical characteristics differently influenced enset yield attributes. For example, improving K supply can potentially enhance fiber yield. Higher yield gaps were observed for bula, with P accounting for the highest yield gaps across yield traits. Through careful targeting, the different yield attributes can thus be enhanced. This and previous studies clearly show that non-destructive enset plant assessments can provide solid information for quick and easy yield assessments for various traits during e.g., agronomic, germplasm evaluation, soil fertility enhancement, and intercropping trials.
Yemataw, Zerihun; Said, Alemar; Dejene, Tesfaye; Ocimati, Walter; Amwonya, David; Blomme, Guy.