Leaf and Fruit Yield Performance of Telfairia occidentalis Hook F. (Fluted Pumpkin) as Influenced by Fruit Size
An experiment to ascertain the influence of fruit size on the yield of fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis Hook F.) was conducted in 2011 and 2012 at Nsukka. The mature fruits of T. occidentalis were graded into three length groups: large (more than 50 cm), medium (34-50 cm) and small (less than 34 cm). The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design with six replications. The following data were collected: length of the longest vine, number of leaves/plant, vine diameter, marketable leaf and fruit yield. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance while Genotype by Genotype x Environment interaction biplot was used to show which-won-where among the groups. Significant means were separated using Fisher’s least significant differences. Medium sized fruits gave the highest marketable leaf yield that was significantly higher than the small sized fruits in both years. Small sized fruits were significantly (p<0.05) lower in total leaf yield, fruit weight/hectare, fruit circumference (33.9 cm) and length (22 cm). The biplot explained 100% of the variation in the fruit sizes. Large sized fruits were the best performer in fruit length, while medium sized fruits performed better in total marketable leaf yield, average fruit weight, number of fruits/hectare and total fruit weight/hectare. The highest Benefit Cost Ratio of 1.2 and 2.6 in 2011 and 2012, respectively were obtained from medium sized fruits Medium sized fruit are recommended in favour of small sized fruit for leaf and fruit production, having higher economic returns.
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