Mtei et al
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 3 (3), pp. 222-234, March 2013.
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 @ yahoo.com
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
Keywords: Alfisol, economic feasibility, organic manure, seed priming, site-specific technology Ultisol
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