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Intensification of rain-fed groundnut production in North Kordofan State, Sudan
The main objective of this study was to evaluate intensification pathways for groundnut production in the marginal rain-fed environment of North Kordofan State, Sudan. The effect of intensification on yields was assessed in three different experiments. In the first experiment, the treatments were organised according to increasing level of intensification from the traditional production package to the improved production package (the ladder experiment). The complete improved package in the ladder approach consisted of increased density, new variety, seed priming, microdosing (0.6 g NPK per pocket) and mulching. Three levels of mulching and two levels of intensification constituted the second experiment (mulching experiment), while the third was an on-farm experiment involving 20 farmers testing two levels of intensification (on-farm experiment). The average yield increases were 75, 61, and 32 %, from the ladder, mulch and on-farm experiments, respectively. Results from the ladder experiment showed that farmers’ gross margin increased by 83 % compared to traditional practices. Resource limited farmers can increase yield by 18 % and gain 25 % additional cash incomes by only adopting increased plant density. As farmers differ in their wealth status, they can choose low-cost, low-risk components of the technological package whereas farmers with more access to resources can achieve high cash incomes by adopting the complete improved production package. There was no clear effect of mulching on yields in these experiments.