Snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is one of the major vegetable crops in Ethiopia grown for export and local markets. The crop is mainly produced during the dry season under irrigation. Snap bean has higher price than other vegetables in local markets in Ethiopia; however, the high cost of production under irrigation restricts the majority of local farmers from taking this opportunity. The main objective of this research was to investigate the influence of nitrogen (N) treatment, cultivar and contrasting environments on pod quality of snap bean under rain fed conditions. Three N treatments (0 and 100 kg N ha-1, and Rhizobium etli[HB 429]) and eight snap bean cultivars were evaluated in a factorial experiment arranged as a randomized block design with three replications. The experiment was conducted at three locations (DebreZeit, Hawassa and Ziway) in 2011 and 2012. Applied N and rhizobium inoculant increased marketable pod yield by 43 and 18%, respectively. Cultivar Melkassa 1 had the greatest marketable yield, but had lower pod physical qualities than other cultivars. The highest zinc concentration in pods was obtained at Hawassa location. In conclusion, viable option for the production of high quality snap bean can be realised under rain fed condition using rhizobial inoculant as N source. These results open new opportunity for resource limited farmers in Ethiopia to produce snap bean with acceptable quality using rhizobial inoculation as N source under rain fed condition.
Key words: Snap bean, cultivars, quality, rhizobium, nutrient concentrations.
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