Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future

2017 Annual Meeting | Oct. 22-25 | Tampa, FL

373-5 Exploring Options for Enhancing Multi-Purpose Legumes Contribution to Smallholder Farmer Livelihood in Eastern and Central Africa.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Global Agronomy
See more from this Session: Tropical Legumes General Oral (includes student competition)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017: 11:05 AM
Tampa Convention Center, Room 3

Generose Nziguheba1, Tadesse Birhanu Atomsa2, Isaac Balume3, Alan J. Duncan4, Mulu London3, Ingrid Oborn5, Irene Okeyo5, Maurice Shiluli6, Tamene Temesgen4, Jean Walangululu7 and Bernard Vanlauwe1, (1)International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nairobi, Kenya
(2)Oromia Agricultural Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
(3)International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Bukavu, Congo (The Democratic Republic of the)
(4)International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
(5)World agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
(6)Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization, Kisii, Kenya
(7)Universite Catholique de Bukavu, Bukavu, Congo (The Democratic Republic of the)
The technical potential of legumes to address many constraints faced by smallholder farmers towards improving their livelihood has not been realized due to multiple factors including, the absence of a farming system focus in research, a lack of understanding of entry-points for legumes, and the lack of knowledge about legumes. This study aims at identifying niches for intensifying multi-purpose legumes in the Humidtropics action sites in DRCongo, Ethiopia and Kenya, taking into account the existing heterogeneity in farming systems, and farmer production objectives. Focus group discussions and farm characterization surveys were used to understand farmers’ production environment, constraints, and opportunities for legumes, and to identify major entry-points. In addition, a legumeCHOICE decision support framework is developed by integrating the farmers’ context, farmers’ aspirations for legumes, and the legume attributes, to generate potential legumes that fit the context. A range of candidate grain legumes were generated from the application of the decision support framework, including climbing beans, fieldpea, groundnut, pigeon pea, faba bean, and soybean, depending on the sites. About 1500 farmers are directly engaged in growing the candidate legumes for niches exploration across the sites. Spatial niches for grain legumes are diverse among farmers. Some legumes are preferentially grown within the homestead, while others are grown far from the homestead, close to streams or on farm edges. Intercropping legumes with main crops, or integrating a few rows of legumes between 2 plots of main crops are commonly observed. Niches used by farmers for candidate perennial legumes including Calliandra, Gliricidia, and Sesbania, are dominated by farm boundary and live fencing, though erosion control is observed in areas prone to erosion. Increasing legumes in the existing farming system requires a participatory approach in understanding the context and objectives of farmers, and in developing and evaluating options that fit the farmers.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Global Agronomy
See more from this Session: Tropical Legumes General Oral (includes student competition)

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