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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 562098
Title Closing yield gaps in oil palm production systems in Ghana through Best Management Practices
Author(s) Rhebergen, Tiemen; Zingore, Shamie; Giller, Ken E.; Frimpong, Charles Adu; Acheampong, Kwame; Ohipeni, Francis Tetteh; Panyin, Edward Kofi; Zutah, Victor; Fairhurst, Thomas
Source European Journal of Agronomy 115 (2020). - ISSN 1161-0301
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2020.126011
Department(s) Plant Production Systems
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2020
Keyword(s) Agronomy - Crop recovery - Fertiliser - Land sparing - Nutrient management - Plantation - Smallholder - Yield intensification
Abstract

The area under oil palm in Ghana has expanded but average fruit bunch yields remained low, resulting in large yield gaps. This study assessed the potential for increasing yield with 'Best Management Practices (BMP)' on plantations and smallholder farms in southern Ghana, compared with current standard practices, i.e. reference (REF) yield. We evaluated short-term (≤1 year) yield increases with 'yield taking' (improved crop recovery), and long-term increases (>1 year) with 'yield making' (better agronomy) practices and identified the factors that contributed most to yield improvements. Average fruit bunch yield increases with BMP were 2.1 t ha−1 (+19%) and 4.7 t ha−1 (+89%) with yield taking and 4.7 t ha−1 (+36%) and 7.6 t ha−1 (+76%) with yield making at plantations and smallholder farms respectively. Short-term yield improvements were achieved with more frequent harvesting events and improved field access, which can help finance inputs needed for the yield making phase. Our analysis suggests more balanced palm nutrition could contribute considerably to yield making, particularly on smallholder farms. Improved fertilizer recommendations are therefore essential for sustainable oil palm production in Ghana. Increasing yields to 21.0 t ha−1 on land already planted to oil palm, can increase national fruit bunch production from 2.5 Mt to 6.9 Mt, sparing 600,000 ha of land. However, labour constraints on plantations and lack of access to credit and agricultural inputs on smallholder farms are major hurdles that need to be overcome to increase production.

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