Potential of Grain Legume Fallows to Address Food Insecurity and Boost Household Incomes in Western Kenya

Mutegi, J K and Jama, B A and Silim, S and Ameru, J N (2014) Potential of Grain Legume Fallows to Address Food Insecurity and Boost Household Incomes in Western Kenya. International Journal of Development Research, 4 (5). pp. 1154-1161. ISSN 2230-9926

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A pigeonpea fallow-maize crop rotation trial was carried out over a period of 4 seasons in western Kenya. The trial compared six high altitude long duration pigeonpea varieties i.e. ICEAP 00020, ICEAP 00040, ICEAP 00048, ICEAP 00053, ICP 9145 and ICP 13076 and a medium duration variety i.e. ICP 13211 for productivity, post fallow maize crop yield and financial returns indicators. Long duration pigeonpea varieties take 140-180 days to mature while medium duration varieties take >200 days to mature. Continuous maize cropping acted as a control. Depending on the variety, pigeonpea grain yield ranged between 1.3 and 1.9 t ha-1. Post fallow maize grain yield from each of pigeonpea variety plot was approximately 3 fold higher than yield from continuous maize plots. The medium duration pigeonpea plots yielded significantly higher maize grain than the long duration (ICEAP 00053, ICEAP 00040) pigeonpea variety plots. Relative to the control, incremental returns to land were highest for medium duration pigeonpea fallow plots (619 USD ha-1) and lowest for ICEAP 00040 fallow plots (305 USD ha-1). We estimated that by selecting an appropriate pigeonpea variety for a fallow-maize rotation system, a household could produce sufficient food for consumption and remain with a surplus of approximately 2.8 tons for sale. For widespread adoption of pigeonpea based technologies in western Kenya, there is a need for policy improvement on issues related to improved seed production systems, cost of fertilizers, extension services, and market for the end products.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: RP-Grain Legumes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Improved fallows, Financial returns, Food security, Policy
Subjects: Mandate crops > Pigeonpea
Others > Food Legumes
Depositing User: Ms. Ishrath Durafsha
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2014 05:43
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 05:43
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/7862
Official URL: http://www.journalijdr.com
Acknowledgement: We gratefully acknowledge the field support by Mike Oloo of World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) at Maseno. Further we thank Steven Franzel for guidance on economic analysis. This paper benefited from critical reviews by Abednego Kiwia of AGRA, Nairobi.
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