Performance of Range Grasses Under Different Micro-Catchments And Financial Returns From Reseeding In Southern Kenya PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 03 August 2011 07:45

Ogillo B. P1*., Moses M. Nyangito2, Dickson M. Nyariki2 and Denis O. Kubasu1

1 Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kiboko, P.O Box 12, Makindu

2 Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, University of Nairobi. P. O. Box 29053 00625 Nairobi, Kenya

* Corresponding author: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


A study was carried out in the southern rangelands of Kenya to test the effect of two micro-catchments – ox-furrows and crescent shaped pits (Kiboko range pits) on the performance of four range grasses (Cenchrus ciliaris, Chloris roxburghiana, Enteropogon macrostachyus and Eragrostis superba).  An economic analysis of the two reseeding enterprises was done by computing the benefit-cost ratio (BCR).  Germination among the grass species was significantly different (p≤0.05).  Germination of on-farm and on-station grass seeds was significantly different (p≤0.05) for C. ciliaris.  There was a significant difference (p≤0.05) between ox-furrows and Kiboko range pits in percent cover and plant density.  However, the difference was not significant between the two micro-catchments in tiller density, leaf density, plant height, aboveground biomass production and seed production.  Cenchrus ciliaris as a monoculture and in mixtures outperformed the other three grasses.  The BCR indicated that the reseeding approaches are viable undertakings.  Kiboko range pits yielded a BCR of 2.5 and ox-furrows 2.6.  Among the monocultures, C. ciliaris gave the highest benefits with a BCR of 3.7 and 3.2 under ox-furrows and Kiboko range pits, respectively.  The least beneficial grass species was E. superba with a BCR of 1.0 and 1.3 in the ox-furrows and Kiboko range pits, respectively.  The results indicate that, promotion of on-farm grass seed in the study area is a viable to meet the rising demand for grass seeds.  The farmer has the option of using either Kiboko range pits or ox-furrows as types of micro-catchments for reseeding purposes since both are economically viable.  Cenchrus ciliaris is should be promoted as the species of choice for reseeding in the southern rangelands of Kenya, since it outperformed the rest.

Key words: benefit cost ratio, micro-catchment, range grasses, Kiboko range pits, reseeding


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