Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

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Mtei et al

Greener Journal of  Agricultural Sciences Vol. 3 (3), pp. 222-234, March 2013.

 ISSN: 2276-7770 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 102412135


Assessment of Technology Options Addressing Agricultural Production Constraints in Western Kenya


*1Kelvin Mark Mtei, 1Ajebesone Francis Ngome, Stephen Wambua2 and 1Mathias Becker


1 Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES), Department of Plant Nutrition, 

University of Bonn, Karlrobert Kreiten Straße 13, 53115 Bonn, Germany.

2 Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, University of Göttingen, Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5, D-37073, Göttingen,Germany.


*1Present address: Dar es salaam University, College of Education, P.O. Box 2329, Dar es salaam Tanzania,

Tel:  +255 (0) 22 285 0975, Fax: +255 (0) 22 285 0952


* Corresponding author Email: mackytz @


Poor soil fertility and weed infestation are among major constraints facing agricultural production in Western Kenya. Recommended technologies differ in resource requirement and their effectiveness are seasonal site-specific. On-farm experiments were conducted during 2008/09 cropping seasons on two soil types of western Kenya using maize as a test crop. Seven technology options were assessed on agronomic performance, resource requirement, and economic returns. Maize grain yield differed between cropping seasons with generally higher yields during long rainy season, and across soil types with organic manure-based options performing better on Ultisol than on Alfisol. Response of soil parameters reflected the amount of added nutrients and soil type with strongest effect of added N on Alfisol and of added P on Ultisol. All options significantly reduced weed biomass in the maize fields in the long (>90%) than in the short rainy seasons (>50%). Green manure-based option required more labour while mineral fertilizer-based options required largest capital. The economic net-benefit varied between -112 and +892 € ha-1 with highest values in organic manure-based options during short rainy season and in mineral fertilizer-based options during long rainy season. This example illustrates the need to define site-specific technology evaluation for successful targeting of technology options.
Keywords: Alfisol, economic feasibility, organic manure, seed priming, site-specific technology Ultisol

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