Effect of Spacing on Growth performance and Nutrient Quality of Moringa (Moringa stenopetala) under the Semi-Arid conditions of Nigeria

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VIII, Issue V, May 2021 | ISSN 2321–2705

Effect of Spacing on Growth Performance and Nutrient Quality of Moringa (Moringa stenopetala) under the Semi-Arid conditions of Nigeria

Abdullahi, S.,1 and Maishanu, H.M2.
1Department of Forestry and Environment, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, P.M.B. 2346, Sokoto, Nigeria.
2Department of Biological Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, P.M.B. 2346, Sokoto, Nigeria.
*Corresponding author

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Abstract
Moringa is a treasured plant due to its exceptionally high nutritional content and drought-tolerant in the tropics and subtropics. A study was conducted to investigate the effect of spacing on Growth performance and Nutrient quality of Moringa (Moringa stenopetala) under the semi-arid conditions of Sokoto, Nigeria. Completely Randomized Design (CRD) was used and replicated three times. Data collected were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and significant differences exist among the means, Duncan’s Multiple Range Test (DMRT) will be used to separate the mean values. Results from this study revealed that spacing had no significant influence on number of leaves (NL), plant height (PH) and collar diameter (CD) except for number of branches (NB) with 6 NB each at 15 x 15 cm and 20 cm x 20 cm. The study further reveals an increase in leaf area index (LAI) with the values of 1.00 cm and 1.03 cm at 15 cm x 20 cm and 20 cm x 30 cm, root-shoot ratio of 2.53 cm and 2.50 cm at 15 cm x 15 cm and 15 cm x 20 cm respectively. Biomass accumulation were also higher with the values of 39.57 g and 5.9 g for fresh and dry weight both at 15×15 cm plant spacing. However, 20×20 cm plant spacing had indicated higher concentrations of both micro nutrients (Mg, Na, P, S) and macro nutrients (Cr, Fe, Mn and Sr). Therefore, Moringa stenopetala proved to have a good growth performance at a medium plant spacing and could provide nutritional needs of not only human but also livestock in semi-arid region of Nigeria.

Keywords: Plant spacing”, Growth performance”, Macronutrients”, Micronutrients”, Moringa”, Moringa stenopetala”

Introduction
Moringa has attracted a lot of attention worldwide due to its highly nutritious and medicinal properties with great agricultural, industrial and domestic uses (Fahey, 2005; Fuglie, 2005) especially in arid and semi-arid environment. This tree has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security and foster rural development (Hsu, 2006). Moringa pods, seeds and leaves contained highly important phytochemicals than you find in Oranges, Carrots, Bananas, Spinach and Onions (Rockwood, 2013). Senegal and Benin use Moringa products for the treatment of malnourished children (Kasolo, 2010). Moringa Pods are used for the treatment of digestive problems and the leaves are also added in different diets due to its low calorific value (Oduro, 2008). Essential Minerals (such as Calcium, Iron and Zinc) for human proper growth and development were reported to be richer in Moringa than in Milk, Beef and Spinach ((Barminas, 1998 and Fuglie, 1999).
Different spacing and nutritional composition of