Full Length Research Paper

Effect of Seasonal Irrigation on Nitrogen and Crude Protein Content of Enset {Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman}

Ayalew Talema1* and Masresha Fetene2

Abstract

The effect of seasonal irrigation on nitrogen and crude protein composition of Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman was quantified under field condition. The experiment was conducted at Gubre (8° 19.9' N and 37° 48.3'E), Southern Ethiopia, during the dry season. A total of 108 individual plants of two enset clones, locally known as yeshirakinke (YK) and nechwa (NH) were selected randomly from three age classes (summa-2 yrs, hiba- 4 yrs and ässät- 6 yrs, old) with three replicated plots. Treatment constituted irrigating half of the randomly selected experimental plants every other day to the field capacity of the soil for 75 days whereas the rest were exposed to seasonal drought. Crude protein (CP) and total nitrogen content (TN) were investigated. The results revealed that TN and CP contents did not show significant differences between irrigated and droughted plants indicating that enset plant tolerates seasonal drought stress. Implications of the findings to drought research in enset and the promotion of the crop to drought prone areas is discussed in the paper.

Key words: Enset, Protein, Nitrogen, Chlorophyll, relative water content and clone

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