Assessing on-farm performance of improved technology interventions on legume production by smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa

Submitted by charlotte.schilt on

Grain legumes are an important component of smallholder farming in SSA, but yields are still below potential. Drought and poor soil fertility are the major causes of low productivity in the region. Farmers are also resource constrained and cannot afford to buy enough fertilizers to improve productivity. N2Africa, a project that aims to improve soil fertility and increase grain legume cultivation and productivity in SSA, supplied farmers with P-fertilizer, improved varieties, inoculant and agronomic practices recommendations. The aim of our study was to assess on-farm performance of these improved interventions. On-farm try outs in Bush bean, climbing bean, cowpea, ground nut and soya bean were assessed in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda during the 2016 and 2017 growing seasons. Improved interventions performed better than farmers ‘own interventions in all crops across countries but large yield and response variability existed between crops, farms and countries. Average crop yields and responses were consistent with the literature, although our estimates of the latter may have been lowered by the exclusion of control plots in our calculations.  The effect of improved varieties on yield was more evident than that of P and inoculant, most likely due to the relative lack of appropriate, independent, on-farm contrasts for the latter two. Particularly, P comparisons were mostly across and not within farms and this could have affected the outcome.

All core countries

MSc and Bcs thesis, internship reports

improved intervention; Phosphorus; improved variety; inoculant; smallholder farmers
Betty Masamba