An understanding of competitive and monetary indices such as land equivalent ratio (LER), land equivalent coefficient (LEC), relative crowding coefficient (K) and monetary advantage index (MAI) is critical in recommending cropping systems in a given area. To appreciate this, an experiment was conducted in Tselemti, Tigray region, Northern Ethiopia. Maize (Zea mays L.) was intercropped with Soybean and Mung bean in a 50:50 ratio under rainfed conditions and supplemented with irrigation in the 2016/17 season to determine the effect of leguminous competition on maize and the economic viability of the intercropping system over sole cropping. The experiment was laid in a split-plot design in three replications with intercropping taking the main plots and supplementary irrigation to sub-plots. The LER values were generally greater than one which indicated the yield advantages of intercropping over sole cropping. LEC was well above 25% and this means that intercropping was more productive. The highest value of LEC was recorded in wheat-lentil mixtures. The relative crowding coefficient (K) showed that the legumes were more dominant over maize. Although both maize-soybean and maize-mungbean mixtures showed economic advantage, as recorded by positive MAI, maize-soybean intercropping system proved more profitable under rainfed conditions whereas under supplementary irrigation, maize-Mungbean recorded a higher value of MAI. Conclusively, it was demonstrated that maize-soybean combinations were more advantageous in terms of yield and monetary advantage for smallholder farmers in Tselemti area who depend on rainfed farming.
Key words: Competition, mungbean, intercropping, supplementary irrigation, soybean, maize.
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