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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. ORCID: 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: 02 May 2023 19:54

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