Evaluation Of Sorghum, Pearl Millet, Nerica Rice And Wheat Suitability To Arable Pockets Of Northern Kenya PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 03 August 2011 04:57

 Ngutu M. 1*, S Obanyi2, EM Muya2, H Charfi1, H Bulle., S. Mamo1 and P. Geikuku1

 1KARI Marsabit, P O Box 147-60500, Marsabit

2National Agricultural Research Laboratory, P O Box 57811, Nairobi

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


Northern Kenya is predominantly arid but has areas with unique microclimates that allow for crop production. Maize is the most popular crop in these arable areas but it does not perform well in some of them (Ngutu et al, 2011). This necessitated the testing of alternative cereals to establish which cereals could replace maize in the different arable zones of Northern Kenya. Of interest were the crop yields, communities’ preference and gross margins. For yield comparison experimentation using a randomized complete block design was done and data analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). To gauge community preference pair wise ranking was used. Results showed that a local variety of wheat locally referred to as Ethiopia was the most promising crop for the highlands and foot slopes while in the irrigated riverines Nerica 1 rice variety was most promising. It is recommended that the local wheat be promoted in the highland and foot slopes and the focus of production here be food security as the area does not have a competitive advantage when compared to other areas where wheat is produced in the country. For the foot slopes Nerica 1 rice is recommended but measure should be put in place to ensure seed is made available and that simple milling technologies are availed.

Key words: Cereals, arable pockets, Northern Kenya, performance

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