Farmers’ preference for improved grasses and legume forage species in six mixed farming system districts of southern region of Ethiopia
Keywords: adoption, forage crops, participatory evaluation
AbstractParticipatory on-farm evaluation of improved forage crops was conducted in six mixed farming system districts of Southern Ethiopia with the objective to identify farmers preferred forage crops (legumes and grasses). Two annual forage legumes (Vigna unguiculata L. (cow pea) and Lablab purpureus (L.), two perennial legumes (Medicago sativa (L.) (alfalfa) and Desmodium intortum (Mill.) Urb. (green-leaf)), and three perennial grasses (Chloris gayana Knuth (Rhodes grass) and two Pennisetum purpureum Schumach (elephant grass) accessions (No.16800 and 16798)) were evaluated in the study. The major farmers’ criteria considered in the evaluation of forage species were vegetative growth, herbage yield, tillering, protection of soil erosion, palatability, perfor- mance under dry weather conditions, performance in marginal area under low input management, multipurpose use (conservation and soil fertility) and fast growing condition. The study showed that elephant grass accession No. 16798, 16800 and Chloris gayana adapted well and farmers preferred them for their higher herbage yield, vegetative growth, tillering ability and drought resistance. Even though the annual forage legumes Lablab purpureus and Vigna unguiculata were superior in their forage yield, the farmers preferred the perennial forage legumes (Desmodium intortum and Medicago sativa) mainly for their performance under dry weather condi- tion due to their longer growth period. Therefore, the consideration of farmers’ preference for forage crops is crucial for increased adoption of improved forage crops in the region.
How to Cite
Abera, M., & Berhanu, T. (2017). Farmers’ preference for improved grasses and legume forage species in six mixed farming system districts of southern region of Ethiopia. Agricultural Science and Practice, 4(2), 23-27. https://doi.org/10.15407/agrisp4.02.023
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.