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Evaluating Growth, Yield, and Water Use Efficiency of African and Commercial Ginger Species in South Africa

1
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
2
Agricultural Research Council, Vegetable and Ornamental Plant (VOP), Private Bag X293, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(3), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030548
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 16 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Scarcity)
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Abstract

Ginger species play an important economic role as medicinal plants, food flavourings, and dietary supplements. Products from ginger, including oil and fresh and dried rhizomes can be used to treat malaria, asthma, headaches, and act as anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agents. The cultivation of wild plant species can alleviate the pressure from harvesting from the wild. Under cultivation, the major constraints on crop yield and quality are water availability and plant nutrition. Therefore, the impact of water stress on commercial and African ginger was assessed in the rain shelter study. Irrigation treatments were based on the maximum allowable depletion (MAD) levels of plant available water in the root zone (T1: 20–25% MAD, the control; T2: 40–45% MAD; T3: 60–65% MAD; T4: 80–85% MAD). As water stress decreased, the plant height and number of stems per plant of both plant species were positively affected. The number of open stomata was higher for well-watered and less stressed treatments in both ginger species. Higher fresh and dry rhizome yields were recorded for commercial ginger at all water treatments as compared to those from African ginger. In general, water use efficiency (WUE) of fresh and dry rhizome yield was higher for commercial ginger as compared to the indigenous African ginger, while moderately stressed treatments generally resulted in the highest WUE for both species. View Full-Text
Keywords: Africa ginger; commercial ginger; growth; yield; irrigation; water use efficiency Africa ginger; commercial ginger; growth; yield; irrigation; water use efficiency
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Gatabazi, A.; Marais, D.; Steyn, M.J.; Araya, H.T.; Mofokeng, M.M.; Mokgehle, S.N. Evaluating Growth, Yield, and Water Use Efficiency of African and Commercial Ginger Species in South Africa. Water 2019, 11, 548.

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