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Farmers' perception and evaluation of brachiaria Grass (brachiaria spp.) genotypes for smallholder cereal-livestock production in East Africa

Cheruiyot, Duncan, Midega, Charles A.O., Pittchar, Jimmy O., Pickett, John A. and Khan, Zeyaur R. 2020. Farmers' perception and evaluation of brachiaria Grass (brachiaria spp.) genotypes for smallholder cereal-livestock production in East Africa. Agriculture 10 (7) , 268. 10.3390/agriculture10070268

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Brachiaria (Urochloa) is a genus, common name brachiaria, of forage grasses that is increasingly transforming integrated crop-livestock production systems in East Africa. A study was undertaken to (i) assess smallholder farmers’ perception on benefits of brachiaria in cereal-livestock production, (ii) identify brachiaria production constraints, and (iii) identify farmer preferred brachiaria genotypes. A multi-stage sampling technique was adopted for sample selection. Data were collected through semi-structured individual questionnaire and focus group discussions (FGDs). The study areas included Bondo, Siaya, Homabay and Mbita sub-counties in Western Kenya and the Lake zone of Tanzania. A total of 223 farmers participated in individual response questionnaires while 80 farmers participated in the FGDs. The respondents considered brachiaria mainly important in management of cereal pests (70.4% of respondents) and as an important fodder (60.8%). The major production constraint perceived by both male and female respondents is attacks by arthropods pests (49.2% and 63%, respectively). Spider smites had been observed on own farms by 50.8% of men and 63.1% of women, while sorghum shoot flies had been observed by 58.1% of men and 67.9% of women. These pests were rated as a moderate to severe problem. Xaraes was the most preferred genotype, followed by Mulato II and Piata. These genotypes are important in developing new crop pest management strategies, such as push-pull, and for relatively rapid improvements in crop management and yield increases, particularly in developing countries.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2077-0472
Funders: European Union; Biovision foundation; UK�s Department for International Development (DFID); Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 24 June 2020
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2020 10:00

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