• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Copyright
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 List of Figures
 Acknowledgement
 Introduction
 Objectives
 Methods and materials
 Results
 Discussion
 Conclusion
 Reference
 Appendix 1
 Appendix 2
 Appendix 3






Group Title: Risk management project working paper - Natural Resources Group - 03-02
Title: On-farm legume experimentation to improve soil fertility in the Zimuto Communal Area, Zimbabwe : farmer perceptions and feedback
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 Material Information
Title: On-farm legume experimentation to improve soil fertility in the Zimuto Communal Area, Zimbabwe : farmer perceptions and feedback
Series Title: Risk management project working paper - Natural Resources Group - 03-02
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Kamanga, Bernard C. G.
Shamudzarira, Zondai
Vaughan, Christopher
Publisher: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
Publication Date: 2003
 Subjects
Subject: Africa   ( lcsh )
Farming   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: Africa -- Zimbabwe -- Zimuto
Africa
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00077512
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: African Studies Collections in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: issn - 1665-045X

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover
    Title Page
        Page i
    Copyright
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
    List of Tables
        Page iv
    List of Figures
        Page v
    Acknowledgement
        Page vi
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Objectives
        Page 1
    Methods and materials
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Results
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Discussion
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Conclusion
        Page 16
    Reference
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Appendix 1
        Page 19
    Appendix 2
        Page 20
    Appendix 3
        Page 21
Full Text




Risk Management Project Working Paper
Series 03-02



On-Farm Legume

Experimentation to Improve

Soil Fertility in the Zimuto

Communal Area, Zimbabwe:

Farmer Perceptions and

Feedbackz




Bernard C.G. Kamanga,
Zondai Shamudzarira,
and Christopher Vaughan
Risk Management Project,
CIMMYT Natural Resources Group,
Harare, Zimbabwe





II
CIMMYT.
INTERNATIONAL MAIZE AND WHEAT
IMPROVEMENT CENTER









II
CIMMYT
INTERNATIONAL MAIZE AND WHEAT
IMPROVEMENT CENTER




On-Farm Legume Experimentation to
Improve Soil Fertility in the Zimuto
Communal Area, Zimbabwe: Farmer
Perceptions and Feedback


Bernard C.G. Kamanga, Zondai Shamudzarira,
and Christopher Vaughan
Risk Management Project,
CIMMYT Natural Resources Group, Harare, Zimbabwe


NKG
Natural Resources Group






Risk Management Projects Working Paper
Series 03-02















CIMMYT (www.cimmyt.org) is an internationally funded, nonprofit, scientific research and training organization.
Headquartered in Mexico, CIMMYT works with agricultural research institutions worldwide to improve the
productivity, profitability, and sustainability of maize and wheat systems for poor farmers in developing countries.
It is one of 16 food and environmental organizations known as the Future Harvest Centers. Located around the
world, the Future Harvest Centers conduct research in partnership with farmers, scientists, and policymakers to
help alleviate poverty and increase food security while protecting natural resources. The centers are supported by
the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) (www.cgiar.org), whose members include
nearly 60 countries, private foundations, and regional and international organizations. Financial support for
CIMMYT's research agenda also comes from many other sources, including foundations, development banks,
and public and private agencies.


F U T U R E Future Harvest builds awareness and support for food and environmental research for a
HTA R1P/ ST world with less poverty, a healthier human family, well-nourished children, and a better
environment (www.futureharvest.org).

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) 2003. All rights reserved. The opinions
expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors. The designations employed in the
presentation of materials in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of
CIMMYT or its contributory organizations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city, or area, or of its
authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. CIMMYT encourages fair use of this
material. Proper citation is requested.

Abstract: Soil fertility is an important limiting factor for smallholder agriculture in southern Africa. In 1999-2002
research was undertaken to identify and evaluate legume technology options for soil fertility improvement within
the context of farmers' livelihood and risk management strategies in Zimuto, Zimbabwe. Specific objectives
included assessment of legume performance by land type, identification of legumes that best replenish soil
fertility, and assessment of legume suitability in intercropping systems under smallholder conditions. Legumes
were grown in both single crop and maize intercrop systems. Performance criteria were established through
group discussions with farmers, and legume performance was later evaluated according to these criteria.
Evaluation of legumes varied somewhat according to gender. Mucuna was found to be the overall most desirable
legume for a single crop system, while pigeon pea and grahamiana were most desirable for the intercrop system.
The greatest challenges in establishing legumes was found to be soil fertility and diseases and pests.

Correct citation: Kamanga, B.C.G., Z. Shamudzarira and C. Vaughan. 2003. On-Farm Legume Experimentation
to Improve Soil Fertility in the Zimuto Communal Area, Zimbabwe: Farmer Perceptions and Feedback. Risk
Management Working Paper Series 03/02. Harare, Zimbabwe: CIMMYT

ISSN: 1665-045X

AGROVOC Descriptors: Soil fertility; Maize; Legumes; Plant diseases; Pests; Pigeon peas; Farmers; Risk; Field
experimentation; Technology; Cropping systems; Pigeon peas; Agricultural research

AGRIS Category Codes: P35 Soil Fertility; P01 Nature Conservation and Land Resources

Dewey Decimal Classification: 631.41


Design and Layout: Marcelo Ortiz S.












Contents





Ta b le s ............................................................................................... ....................................... ............ iv
Figures ................................................................. v
A know ledgem ents .................................................................................... ............................................ vi
Introduction ............................................................. 1
Objectives ............................................................... 1
M materials and M methods ............................................................................................ ................................ 2
S ite selection and group form action ....................................... ..... ..... .............. ..... .... ........... 2
Context and trial design ............................. ......... ..... ............ ........ ................. 2
G roup discussions and perform ance criteria ............................................ ............................ 4
Results ................................................................. 5
First year (1999/2000): Farmers' capacity to experiment ................. ............ ........................... 5
Second year (2000/2001): Implementation of changes...... ... ....... ....... ................ 6
Farm er perceptions of legum e uses ............................... ................................ ......... .... 8
Farmer perceptions of constraints and :*pp.:....,;i-. ........................................ 12
Discussion..................................................................13
Discussion ................................................................................................................................................................... 13
Biological performance of legume systems ........................ ............................. ......................... 13
Perceptions of farmers on field performance of legumes ............................................... ........ 14
Conclusions .............. ...................................... 16
References ............................................................. 17
Appendix 1 Mixed (male and female) group perceptions on legume uses .......................................... 19
Appendix 2 Male group perceptions on legume uses................................... .......................... 20
Appendix 3 Female group perceptions on legume uses ......................................................... 21










Tables




Table 1. Mother trial plot layout and legume assignment, 2000/2001 ................................................................ 3
Ta ble 2 Fa rm e r leg um e option ns a nd fie ld type .................................................................................................. 3
Table 3. Planting pattern and seed rates of legumes in mother trials ........................................ ................. 4
Table 4. Farmer perceptions of household and alternative uses of legumes by gender ............ .............. 9
Table 5. Legume -";i.i'.;i:.' by field type and season, as observed by farmers ......................... .............. 11
Table 6. Legume ,. :.: ,ii .. by system, as defined by farmers ....................................... ...................... 11
Table 7. Constraints and opportunities identified by farmers in Chikato .............................................. 15









Figures



Figure 1. Sample resource allocation map .................. .... .............. .. ......... ........ 4
Figure 2. Rainfall in the Chikato area, 2000/2001 season ........................ ........ ............................... 6
Figure 3. Legum e biom ass yields ........................................................ .......... ..... 7
Figure 4. Legum e grain yields ...................................................................... .. ..... ................. .......... 7
Figure 5. Maize yield and intercrop effect .............................. .... ................... .......... 8
Figure 6. Farmer ranking of legumes by uses in Chikato .............. ........................... ........................... 10





































--











Acknowledgments



The authors would like to acknowledge the staff of the Zimbabwe Department of Research and Specialist
Services Agronomy Institute and the Zimbabwe Department of Agricultural Research and Extension at Makoholi
Research Station for their general support of the Zimuto legume research work. CARE International and
APSRU/CSIRO Tropical Agriculture also supplied local support related to this project. ICRISAT was an important
collaborator on the legume component.

This project was made possible through the support of AUSAID and ACIAR i i the project "Risk
management in southern Africa maize systems."

The authors would also like to acknowledge Larry Harrington and Stephen '.....i..ii...... for guiding the work and
for their efforts in reviewing and editing earlier drafts of this paper, Kristian Harrington-Col6n for revising later
drafts, and the design unit at CIMMYT for the layout and publication of the paper.










On-Farm Legume Experimentation to

Improve Soil Fertility in the Zimuto

Communal Area, Zimbabwe: Farmer

Perceptions and Feedback


Introduction

Low soil fertility has been identified as a fundamental
biophysical constraint to agricultural production in
southern Africa (World Bank 1989; Sanchez et al.
1997). In Zimbabwe, the problem has been made
worse by the legacy of colonial land policies.
Smallholder farmers were concentrated into
communal lands to grow maize on sandy soils with
few soil fertility inputs. The soils in these areas are
generally derived from granite and gneiss, producing
inherently infertile (Grant 1981) coarse-grained sands
with less than 15% clay. These soils are also low in
nitrogen and phosphorus (Mashiringwani 1983), and
successful production of food on them requires the
use of N fertilizer (Grant 1970; Waddington et al.
1991). Nevertheless, because of the increasing costs
of inorganic fertilizers, farmers have attempted to
supply the much-needed nitrogen in the soil by
complementing them with traditional fertilizers such as
animal manure. Declining manure quantities and
quality, however, have meant poor and very variable
responses (Mugwira and Murwira 1997) and relatively
low food production in smallholder agriculture (FAO
1999; Low and Waddington 1991).

Demand for food is increasing with population
growth, resulting in a continuing challenge to produce
enough food to adequately feed families in the region
(McCalla 2000). Without modification of current
practices or the identification of new options for


smallholder agriculture, food production will continue
to decline in per capital and per unit area terms.
Reeves (1998) pointed out that no single method of
farming in any region remains sustainable without
change. In support, a review of recent literature
(Loehman et al. 1994; Low and Waddington 1991)
indicates a growing awareness that methods for soil
fertility improvement need to be dynamic in order to
meet the evolving challenges of farmer societies.
Present production methods in smallholder
agriculture need to be modified to identify options
that can sustainably replenish soil fertility and
increase maize yields. Farmers are also seeking
change, as indicated by the support they give to on-
farm research in Zimbabwe. One example is the
efforts of farmers to help develop legume-based
technologies in Zimuto, southern Zimbabwe. The
legumes improve soil fertility (Sakala et al. 2001) and
add diversity to the food options for farmers (Gilbert
1999; Kumwenda and Gilbert 1998). In Zimuto,
farmers who participated in focused discussions
ranked soil fertility as the most important issue,
although the legumes used in the study were chosen
for their potential to provide a wide range of uses.


Objectives

This research was conducted to identify and evaluate
legume technology options for soil fertility
improvement within the context of farmers' livelihood


a










On-Farm Legume Experimentation to

Improve Soil Fertility in the Zimuto

Communal Area, Zimbabwe: Farmer

Perceptions and Feedback


Introduction

Low soil fertility has been identified as a fundamental
biophysical constraint to agricultural production in
southern Africa (World Bank 1989; Sanchez et al.
1997). In Zimbabwe, the problem has been made
worse by the legacy of colonial land policies.
Smallholder farmers were concentrated into
communal lands to grow maize on sandy soils with
few soil fertility inputs. The soils in these areas are
generally derived from granite and gneiss, producing
inherently infertile (Grant 1981) coarse-grained sands
with less than 15% clay. These soils are also low in
nitrogen and phosphorus (Mashiringwani 1983), and
successful production of food on them requires the
use of N fertilizer (Grant 1970; Waddington et al.
1991). Nevertheless, because of the increasing costs
of inorganic fertilizers, farmers have attempted to
supply the much-needed nitrogen in the soil by
complementing them with traditional fertilizers such as
animal manure. Declining manure quantities and
quality, however, have meant poor and very variable
responses (Mugwira and Murwira 1997) and relatively
low food production in smallholder agriculture (FAO
1999; Low and Waddington 1991).

Demand for food is increasing with population
growth, resulting in a continuing challenge to produce
enough food to adequately feed families in the region
(McCalla 2000). Without modification of current
practices or the identification of new options for


smallholder agriculture, food production will continue
to decline in per capital and per unit area terms.
Reeves (1998) pointed out that no single method of
farming in any region remains sustainable without
change. In support, a review of recent literature
(Loehman et al. 1994; Low and Waddington 1991)
indicates a growing awareness that methods for soil
fertility improvement need to be dynamic in order to
meet the evolving challenges of farmer societies.
Present production methods in smallholder
agriculture need to be modified to identify options
that can sustainably replenish soil fertility and
increase maize yields. Farmers are also seeking
change, as indicated by the support they give to on-
farm research in Zimbabwe. One example is the
efforts of farmers to help develop legume-based
technologies in Zimuto, southern Zimbabwe. The
legumes improve soil fertility (Sakala et al. 2001) and
add diversity to the food options for farmers (Gilbert
1999; Kumwenda and Gilbert 1998). In Zimuto,
farmers who participated in focused discussions
ranked soil fertility as the most important issue,
although the legumes used in the study were chosen
for their potential to provide a wide range of uses.


Objectives

This research was conducted to identify and evaluate
legume technology options for soil fertility
improvement within the context of farmers' livelihood


a










and risk management strategies in Zimuto, Zimbabwe.
Specific objectives were


* Assess legume performance by land type
* Identify legumes that best replenish soil fertility
* Assess legume : ,i ,i;i in intercropping systems
under smallholder conditions



Methods and Materials


Site selection and group formation

Zimuto is a dry area of south-central Zimbabwe. It is
located in Zimbabwe Natural Region IV and has a
unimodal rainfall season from October to March;
average rainfall is 631 mm with a range of 200-1,000
mm. Rainfall comes in sporadic convectional storms
with a 30% chance of a mid season drought in
January or February i ,:::: -:,! 1995). Agriculture in
the area is rain-fed with little wetland irrigation. The
soils are predominantly sandy and are formed from
granite. They have a low moisture I,. i. In.. i capacity, a
low PH, and little organic matter or nitrogen. Soils are
characterized by their position in the catena, and can
be divided into topland, vleis, vlei margins, and
homestead. The differences in the soil catena can
influence the type of management and resource use
for a piece of land-for ,i .1 about 60% of all
manure is '1 'piih- I to the vleis. The dry topland granitic
soils of the upland ridges and iie slopes are well
drained and moderately shallow, and are comprised of
coarse to medium grained, dark yellow or brown
sands and sandy loams. In addition to maize, the
topland fields are planted with cowpea, bambara,
groundnut, millet, sweet potatoes, and other minor
crops largely for home consumption. The vleis are
shallow to moderately drained, and consist of dark
brown coarse-grained sands, ranging from loam sands
to clay loams. Other crops currently grown on the vleis
are groundnut, rice, and bean. Wetland crop
production of wheat and vegetables during the cool
dry season is also done on the vleis. The vlei margins
are moderately deep and imperfectly drained, and


consist of dark brown coarse sands with mottling
below 0.5 m. The homestead field type is located on
flat ground close to the homestead. It is composed of
well drained, moderately shallow coarse to medium
grained yellow or brown sands and sandy loams. Due
to its proximity to the kraal, it is also close to manure,
compost, wood ash and homestead labor sources.
The homestead is drought prone in poor rainfall
seasons and may suffer leaching in wetter seasons.
Groundnuts, bambara, rapoko and root vegetables
are produced in addition to maize, often in rotation.


The farmer groups involved in this study were formed
from the communities that work with CARE
International on the conservation of dam catchment
areas. In discussions intended to identify agricultural
problems, these farmers named soil fertility as the
most important constraint to agricultural production.
Discussions were then focused on identifying cheap
and sustainable ways to improve soil fertility. A small
group of 14 farmers was then formed in the village of
Chikato to conduct on-farm legume trials in the fields.
According to the Country Almanac (1998) Zimuto's
conditions are similar to 40% of the country's area,
indicating that the results of the studies could easily
be i,-Ii 'h elsewhere.

Context and trial design

The project started in the 1999/2000 growing season
with 14 farmers. Nine legumes were tried on-farm
using the mother-baby approach developed for farmer
assessment of legumes in Malawi (Kamanga et al.
2000). The project introduced four new legumes:
Mucuna pruriens (velvet bean or mucuna), Crotalaria
grahamiana (grahamiana), pigeon pea, and
sunnhemp. Five traditional legumes (spreading
cowpea, bunch cowpea, bambara, groundnut, and
soybean) were also used.


Four mother trials were implemented, each managed
by three or four farmers. A mother trial had 18 plots
(each measuring 10 m x 20 m) arranged in a way that
made it easy to compare an intercrop and a single


G











crop system for each legume. Table 1 shows the
simple comparison layout of the legumes in the
mother trials. Two mother trials were set up on
homestead fields and another two on the topland
fields in order to compare the performance of
legumes across these two land types. Baby trials
were subsets of the mother trials and were
individually managed by each farmer. Farmers
chose four legumes to plant in their fields as baby
trials. Details of farmer legume choices are shown in


Table 2. All legumes except mucuna were planted at
the same time as maize when intercropped.
Intercropped mucuna was planted six weeks after
maize because previous research had shown a
tendency for it to climb up maize plants and pull them
down if planted too early (Gilbert 1998).


The planting of legumes in the mother trials
followed agronomic specifications developed from
previous work by Soil Fert Net members


Table 1. Mother trial plot layout and legume assignment, 2000/2001

Pigeon Bunch Spreading
Mucuna Sunnhemp Grahamiana peas cowpeas cowpeas Soybeans Groundnuts Bambara

Maize- Maize- Maize- Maize- Maize- Maize-spreading Maize- Maize- Maize-
mucuna sunnhemp grahamiana pigeon peas bunch cowpeas cowpeas soybeans groundnuts bambara





Table 2. Farmer legume options and field type

Farmer's name Legume Variety
Pigeon Cowpeas Cowpeas
peas Soybeans Bambara Groundnuts Mucuna Sunnhemp Grahamiana (spreading) (bunch)

M. Dowa H VM V
Z.Zvokuenda
R. Nyenyai T T
A. Paringira
N. Chitima T H
J. Zireva Vr.1 I I T
D. Matsvange T V'.1 T T
S. Mupunza T
D. Madhoro T T v1'.1
J. Chiramba H/VM H/VM H/VM
K. Chigiya T/VM T
M. Chishere HNM T
N. Mudakuenda VM T T
F. Nguvo H T H

Legend: V= Vlei; VM= Vlei margin; H= Homestead; T= Topland.

Key
Maize-legume intercrop
Legume single crop


KD










(Waddington et al. 1998) as shown in Table 3. To
reduce competition, the spacing was changed for
grahamiana, soybean, bambara, groundnut, and
mucuna. Grahamiana and sunnhemp had poor
germination in the first year, leading farmers to
change the depth of planting from 5 cm in the
first year to near the soil surface in following
years. Other legumes were planted as in the first
year, when they were drilled and covered with
soil. Because of poor soils, the phosphorus-
based fertilizer Single Superphosphate was
applied to all legume soils in order to stimulate
root development and growth.


Agronomic field data sheets. With the help of
enumerators, farmers were given field data sheets to
record activities and observations throughout the
season. The sheets indicated the farmer's name, plot
layout, and treatment assignment, as well as rainfall
received, dates of operations, plant count, yields, soil
sampling, and farmer comments over the year. A
checklist of the enumerator's responsibilities was also
included. In addition, the enumerator assisted
farmers in measuring yields.1


Table 3. Planting pattern and seed rates of legumes in
mother trials

Single Intercrop Seed
crop system system rate kg
Legume (cm) (cm) (20x10m2)
Pigeon pea 90x30 90x30 3
Soybean 20x5 20x5 4
Bambara 40 x 20 40x30 8
Groundnut 30 x 20 40 x 20 8
Mucuna 50 x 25 90 x 25 20
Sunnhemp 40x10 90x5 3
Grahamiana 40 x 10 90 x 5 8
Spreading cowpea 90 x 30 90 x 30 5
Bunch cowpea 40x20 40x20 10


Resource allocation maps (RAM). Resource
allocation maps are useful management tools for
farmers and were used to collect information about
their farming methods. With the help of an enumerator,
each farmer drew maps of their fields as they stood in
1999 and indicated how resources had been allocated
to different field types. The RAMs indicated household
members, amounts and routes for resources, dates of
operations, labor use, and harvested crops. They were
updated several times in 1999 through 2001, and they
form a good platform for group discussions and
decision-making on resource allocation by farmers.
Figure 1 shows one of the maps developed by farmers
in the area.



Group discussions and performance criteria

Group discussions were used to elicit perceptions
about the trials beyond what was included in the field
data sheets. They involved 14 farmers, nine female
and five male. The discussion groups were held in
all-male and all-female groups as well as in a mixed
group that included all farmers. These group
discussions were held on several occasions with very


Figure 1. Sample resource allocation map.


1 Note that the yields cited in this paper are averages from the four mother trials.


0










little variation in attendance, and were supplemented
by individual interviews with farmers. Farmers used
the discussions to outline their perceptions of the
trials and provide feedback on their performance.
These views are discussed in subsequent sections of
this paper. As a part of the discussions, farmers
participated in a ranking exercise that identified the
following criteria for evaluating the performance of
the technologies:


Yield level. Farmers said that the research focused on
improving the yield of crops, especially maize, through
the use of legumes. Legumes incorporated into the
systems should increase maize yields in the same
season or in subsequent years. The impact of
legumes on soil fertility restoration depends largely on
the volume of biomass the legume produces (Gilbert
1998; ICRISAT/MAI 2001). Some farmers had good
biomass production in the first year, and this
encouraged other farmers to view biomass as an
important characteristic for identifying legumes that
would perform well and help the poorer soils.


Drought tolerance. Because of the drought that often
occurs mid season, some legumes were affected by
moisture stress. Farmers found that such legumes
may not be suited to the dry conditions that frequently
occur, and that legumes capable of tolerating harsh
conditions may be more suitable for the environment
in the area. In evaluating the legumes, tolerance to
drought was included in the criteria.


Food and feed value. The first concern of farmers
was how to produce enough food from the degraded
soils. Using legumes for soil fertility improvements is a
good alternative for achieving that goal, but adoption
of legumes for soil fertility would be higher if the
legumes also provided additional food for the farmers.
In addition, farmers said that legumes should provide
animal feed to improve the milking potential of cows.


Labor. Labor is another factor that affects the
incorporation of legumes into smallholder farming


systems. Farmers said that legumes should be
compared to identify those that need less labor.


Intercrop suitability. As a staple food, maize is
usually produced in an intercrop system-farmers said
that very few crops were planted in single crop
systems. To suit these methods, new crops should be
evaluated on their performance in intercrop systems.



Results


First year (1999/2000): Farmers' capacity to
experiment

The value of land and the importance of maize
caused most farmers to avert risks by planting
legumes on their poorer fields. Sixty percent of the
farmers used poor lands (such as previously
fallowed topland), producing low germination and
growth rates. The remainder of the farmers planted
the legumes on fields that had received animal
manure. The response of legumes on manured
fields was also varied because the application of
fresh manure on some fields affected germination
and growth. Farmers attributed the reduced
germination rates on those fields to heat produced
from decomposing manure.


Almost no legumes planted in the vleis grew well. In
particular, mucuna was affected by waterlogging. The
legumes also did poorly in heavily depleted topland
sands, although they showed some potential to
improve soil fertility when planted on better quality
topland. In addition, farmers made an important
observation regarding mucuna on these fields. It was
found that mucuna plants twine up maize plants that
border it. This led farmers to question whether to
plant mucuna and maize at the same time in an
intercrop system. However, through group
discussions on the first year of legume performance,
farmers chose to intercrop the legume with maize as
a relay crop, planted six weeks after planting maize.


0











Noting poor germination and growth for grahamiana,
sunnhemp, and other small seeded legumes in the
first year, farmers reduced their planting depth from
greater than 5 cm to near the soil surface. In the
second year, germination and growth were improved
by only using well-decomposed manure.
Broadcasting some of the legumes also affected
germination, causing farmers to change to hole and
drill planting methods. However, farmers noted that
these methods require more labor than broadcasting
the seed. In general, all crops had better germination
in the first year when planted as single crops rather
than intercropped.


In all, farmers evaluated legumes as having a high
potential to improve soil fertility. More farmers
requested to join the group or to obtain seed
following the first year. The project has started a
program to increase the seed supply of legumes in
the 2001-2002 cropping season through
collaboration with CARE International. However, the
demand for the legumes has become so large that
there is a need to further increase seed production
through participating farmers.



Second year (2000/2001): Implementation
of changes

The germination of legumes improved after
implementing the changes from the first year, with
those planted on homestead fields doing the best.
This was especially true when homestead fields
received well-decomposed ma. Table 2 gives details
regarding the types of fields used for the baby trials in
2000-2001.


Rainfall in the 2000/2001 season. Figure 2 shows
rainfall records from the farms for the 2000/2001 crop
season. Total rainfall was 593 mm that year, about 50
mm below average. The rainfall started in November and
was followed by a long mid-season dry spell that lasted
for eight weeks, through the end of January This period
was crucial to the farmers for timely application of top


dressing fertilizer, weeding, and the planting of legumes
in intercropping plots. The dry spell in January reduced
the growth of legumes through moisture deficits, aphid
attacks, and a delay in the planting of intercropped
legumes. Farmers found that sunnhemp, groundnut, and
cowpea were greatly affected by moisture stress. In
addition, aphid attacks destroyed bunch cowpea,
groundnut, and bambara nut. Although there was over
500 mm of rainfall in February and March, the crops had
already been damaged by then. The maize was
flowering at that time and some crops died from moisture
stress. Maize that had been planted early matured
around this time and started to rot in the fields-especially
ears of SC-501, which has a poor husk cover.


Biological performance of legume systems. Poorly
distributed rainfall affected timely operations by
farmers, crop growth, and yield performance in the
season. Farmers evaluated the legumes to identify
those that could withstand harsh conditions and
provide a yield for the farmers despite the stresses.
Two parallel measurements were made from single
crop and intercrop plots. The results (Figures 3 and 4)
show that some legumes are best suited to
intercropping systems while others do better when
grown as single crops.


700

600

500

E400

S300

200

100

0


Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr
Months


Figure 2. Rainfall in the Chikato area, 2000/2001 season.











Biomass yields. There were no differences in
biomass yields between single crop and intercrop
bambara (360 vs. 390 kg/ha) and grahamiana (880 vs.
890 kg/ha). Groundnut biomass yield was higher when
intercropped than when grown as a single crop (1,010
kg/ha vs. 190 kg/ha). Soybean did better in a single
crop system than when intercropped. Cowpea and
pigeon pea biomass was not recorded from all of the
farmers. The bunch cowpea matured early and it was
not possible to record the amount of biomass, while
the pigeon pea plants had fresh pods and farmers did
not want to destroy them. Groundnut biomass yield
from the intercrop was surprisingly high since it does
not usually intercrop well. This high biomass could be
the result of less moisture loss from maize during the
long mid season dry spell.


Grain yields. Grain yields from the single crop and
intercropped legumes are compared in Figure 4.
Bambara nut, spreading cowpea and soybean did well
in a single crop system. Soybean was the highest
yielding legume with 560 kg/ha of grain, followed by
bambara nut with 370 kg/ha and spreading cowpea
with 280 kg/ha. In the intercrop systems, bambara and


S800

> 600- -

o 400 ----


200

0
B/nut Ghn G/nut MP SB SH
Legume

Note: B/nut= Bambara; CPs = Spreading cowpea; CPb= Bunch cowpea;
G/nut = Groundnut; MP = Muuna; SB= Soybean; SH= Sunnhemp

Figure 3. Legume biomass yields.


soybean provided similar yields of 90 kg/ha, while
cowpea yielded no grain. Yields of grahamiana and
pigeon pea were not measured. Farmers harvested
fresh pigeon pea for relish, making it difficult to
measure the yields. An unknown larvae pest
destroyed the pods of grahamiana.


Yield from intercropped maize. A comparison of the
effects of intercropped legumes on maize yields is
shown in Figure 5. Maize yield was highest in the
grahamiana intercrop (2,430 kg/ha), followed by
groundnut (1,750 kg/ha) and pigeon pea (890 kg/ha).
The sunnhemp intercrop yielded no maize grain. The
mucuna intercrop was used in comparing intercrop
and single crop maize yields. The dry spell delayed
planting of mucuna from six weeks after maize to
when the maize was in the early stages of flowering.
As a result, the mucuna started to spread when the
maize had already matured. This provided a very
minimal interaction effect, if any at all, and a zero
effect line could be calculated from the maize yield of
the mucuna intercrop yield as a control for
comparison. It can be said that systems with maize
yields above the zero effect line had a positive



600
W Single crop U Intercrop
500


S400


300

S200-


100 -

n


B/nut CPs CPb G/nut
Legume


MP SB


Note: B/nut = Bambara; CPs = Spreading cowpea; CPb= Bunch cowpea;
G/nut = Groundnut; MP = Muuna; SB= Soybean; SH= Sunnhemp

Figure 4. Legume grain yields.


a




















* 1500-


1000-


500-


0
Bambara S. Cowpea B. Cowpea Grahamiana Groundnut Mucuna Pigeon Pea Soybean Sunnhemp
Legume intercrop

Figure 5. Maize yield and intercrop effect.


influence while systems with yields below this line
negatively affected them. Grahamiana, pigeon pea
and groundnut-based systems were found to have
positively influenced maize yields while bambara,
spreading cowpea, sunnhemp and soybean-based
systems seemed to have a negative influence. The
zero yield from sunnhemp suggests that the legume
out-competed the maize crop.


The percentage effect on yield reduction or increment
is also shown in Figure 5. Yields increased by 150% in
the grahamiana intercrop, 70% in the groundnut
intercrop and 40% in the pigeon pea intercrop. The
figures suggest that these legumes benefit the soil and
crop during the same season and do not provide
competition to the maize plant. One possible
explanation could be that they provide a cover mulch
effect that conserves moisture, especially during a dry
spell. The yield trend also agrees with farmer
observations that maize in the grahamiana and pigeon
pea intercrops did not wilt much. There was no maize
yield in the sunnhemp intercrop (a reduction of 100%)
and about a 50% reduction in the soybean and
spreading cowpea intercrops. Intercropping cowpea
with maize is a common practice for most farmers in


the area and few yield reductions were mentioned
(Shumba 1990), but the yield reduction depends on
plant population density. The relative density of
intercropped cowpea in current practice is very small
and any reduction in maize yield is negligible.



Farmer perceptions of legume uses

Farmers planted both traditional and introduced
legumes in the trials. Traditional legumes were
defined as those that farmers had been previously
been planting and using while introduced legumes
were defined as those that had been brought into the
area by the CIMMYT Risk Project. Most farmers had
not planted or used introduced legumes, although
some of them had been planted by previous
generations before being abandoned for various
reasons. In addition to the familiar uses for
established legumes, farmers identified different
household and alternative uses for introduced
legumes as shown in Table 4.


Traditional legumes were mainly grown for their food
value. Cowpea and bean leaves are eaten as a
vegetable relish while fresh; they are also boiled,










Table 4. Farmer perceptions of household and alternative uses of legumes by gender

Cowpea Groundnut Bambara Mucuna Pigeon pea Grahamiana Sunnhemp Soybean
Food
Soil fertility
Market
Animal feed
Weed control
Firewood


Key
Female group
Male group
Female and mixed group
Male and mixed group
Mixed group only
All groups
No mention


dried and preserved for use in the dry season when
green vegetables are scarce. While green and fresh,
groundnut, pigeon pea, cowpea and bambara grains
are boiled to make a protein-rich vegetable relish. The
fresh green pods are also boiled and eaten as snacks.
In addition, grains can be cooked as a relish when dry
or ground to make lupiza, a thick paste also used as a
relish. Groundnuts can be roasted, salted, and eaten
as a snack, pounded to form traditional peanut butter,
or pounded into a flour and used to season leaf
vegetable relishes, porridges and other relish dishes.
In addition to their food value, legumes provide
opportunities for additional income at local markets;
they can also be sold to the Grain Marketing Board if
produced in abundance.


Farmers noted that, apart from food value and market
opportunities, the legumes improved soil fertility. It had
been from this knowledge that some farmers had
systematically rotated legumes with maize to
capitalize on the residual fertility However, those
legumes did not have a large impact on soil fertility
because the varieties farmers grew did not produce
much biomass or fix much N in the soil. The small


scale and the practice of feeding residues directly to
livestock after harvesting were also factors. Mucuna
and grahamiana produced higher biomass than other
legumes and farmers ranked these crops high in their
potential to improve soil fertility.


Farmers also wanted to learn about the utilization of
some legumes for uses other than soil fertility
improvements, especially mucuna. Because of the L-
dopa in mucuna, farmers were advised not to cook it
until preparation lessons are conducted. Farmers
thought mucuna could be used for coffee and suggested
further exploration of this idea. A bean variety similar to
mucuna is used in Malawi for coffee extraction.


The farmers who harvested pigeon pea liked its taste
and ease of preparation. For example, Mr. Chishere
commented, "Pigeon pea inonaka se beans uye haitri
nguva yakawanda pamoto. Inogona kushandiswa se
usavi...." "The pigeon pea grain is sweet, just like
beans, and it does not take time to cook. If it is
cooked, you enjoy the food...." In addition to food,
some farmers used pigeon pea stems for firewood.


0


mmmm











Farmers noted that another use for legumes such as
pigeon pea, soybean and mucuna was as animal feed.
It is also possible, though somewhat difficult, to extract
milk from soybeans. Male farmers in particular said
that the legumes would be fed to cows in order to
boost milk production for consumption and sale. Goats
were seen to like pigeon pea. Although commercial
Brahman cattle ate mucuna, local cattle breeds did
not. Farmers also observed reduced weed incidences
in mucuna, grahamiana and sunnhemp plots. This
reduction in weeds was particularly beneficial for the
farmers, especially in helping to control the parasitic
Striga weed that reduces maize yields.


Gender influence on farmer perceptions of legume
uses. Gender played an important role in the values
attached to each legume, and different farmer groups
had different perceptions of legume uses. All groups
ranked the legumes first by the role they played in food
availability, and it is of note that grahamiana and
sunnhemp were not mentioned as having any food
value. Female farmers mentioned soybeans as being
useful for food and indicated the constraints associated
with its utilization. Introduced legumes were more highly
valued for soil fertility improvements while traditional
ones were primarily valued for food and market income.
There was widespread agreement on the soil fertility
improvements from mucuna, pigeon pea and
grahamiana in all groups. The rankings of female
farmers were more closely associated to uses that were
directly linked to the household. For example, the
female group mentioned firewood as a benefit from
legumes whereas the male group did not. The above
trends imply that those legumes that improve both soil
fertility and grain yields have a high probability of being
adopted and adapted by farmers.


Farmer ranking of legumes. Different crops have
different uses, and Figure 6 shows the farmer ranking
of legumes based on uses. Food and soil fertility were
the main reasons farmers gave for growing the
legumes, although there were differences within
individual group rankings (Appendices 1-3). Farmers


ranked each legume use and its importance to the
welfare of the household as a whole. In the rankings,
food, soil fertility, and market income seem to be of
high importance across all crops. In addition, fuel wood
was mentioned in two legume crops and weed control
in three.


Perception of legume suitability by field type.
Farmers evaluated the suitability of legumes for
different field types after two years (Table 5). The
homestead performed better than the topland fields in
the four mother trials. Homesteads are generally
suitable for most legumes because they are relatively
fertile from manure and litter from household wastes.
These fields were found to be best for all legumes
except groundnut and bambara. Groundnut pods did
not always fill in those homesteads that had received
more manure. Farmers said that bambara does well in
poor fields, and is thus best suited to the topland. In
general, however, farmers observed that legumes had
poor germination in abandoned fields. This was
compounded by damage due to wild animals, although
they did not affect mucuna and sunnhemp. Finally, low
soil fertility also contributed to poor performance of the
legumes. The performance of legumes on the topland
clearly indicates that establishment of legumes in poor
lands is difficult and may be expensive.


1200

1000

1 800

I 600
E
o 400
Ca


0 a r "u h U m\ a a \ I
B/nut Ghn G/nut MP SB SH
Legume
Note: B/nut= Bmbara; CPs = Spreading cowpea; CPb= Bunch cowpea;
G/nut = Groundnut; MP = Mucuna; SB= Soybean; SH= Sunnhemp

Figure 6. Farmer ranking of legumes by uses in Chikato.












In contrast, groundnut and pigeon pea grew well in the

vlei and vlei margins. They are planted in August or

September and harvested in December or January.

The main constraint to legume production in the vlei is

waterlogging. Pigeon pea does not perform well in

waterlogged conditions (Nene 1990), but planting on

ridges can reduce its effects. Mucuna and other

legumes germinate but subsequently become yellow

and stunted when waterlogged (Kumar Rao 1998).

Growing legumes concurrently with maize would make

it difficult to incorporate their biomass in the vlei, but

other options may work if fast growing legumes such

as sunnhemp are used.


Farmers similarly evaluated the legumes with respect

to whether growing them in rotation was better than

intercropping them (Table 6). Mucuna, sunnhemp and


soybean were found to be highly competitive for

resources, possibly killing the maize plants or reducing

yields. Grahamiana, pigeon pea and groundnut were

found to be well suited to intercrop as well as single

crop systems.



Table 6. Legume suitability by system, as defined by
farmers

Legume Rotation Intercropping

Mucuna v X
Pigeon pea V/
Grahamiana V V
Sunnhemp v X
Cowpea X V
Soybean V X
Bambara V X
Groundnut V/

X- Legume does not suit the system
/ Legume suits the system


Table 5. Legume suitability by field type and season, as observed by farmers

Field type

Legume Season Vlei Vlei margin Homestead

Mucuna Wet X X Vv
Dry X VV V
Avg X V vv
Pigeon pea Wet X X v
Dry V/ V//
Avg X v/ vv
Grahamiana Wet X V VV
Dry X v v
Avg X X v/
Sunnhemp Wet X X vv
Dry X v vv
Avg X X v/
Cowpea Wet X X vv
Dry X X vv
Avg X X v/
Soybean Wet X X vv
Dry / V/
Avg X X v/
Groundnut Wet V/ X
Dry v/ X X
Avg v/ X V
Bambara Wet X X X
Dry X X X
Avg X X X


Legend:
V/ Legume best suited to land type
/ Legume suited to land type
X Legume not suited to land type


Topland

Vv
V
V/V
V/
V/
V/
V/
v/
V



X
x





v/
V/

v/
v/ v
V
V/
V
V
V
V



X
VV

JJ
JJ
JJ
x
V/V/
V/V/











Farmer perceptions of constraints and
opportunities

The most important constraints identified by farmers
were low soil fertility, diseases and pests, lack of
adequate seed, market structure, lack of technical
knowledge on management of legumes, the lack of
food value, and the allocation of limited resources.


Farmers pointed out that the soils were very poor and
that crops did not grow well .ii. .I l ii ;: :. or
manure. The poor germination and performance of the
first year were partly attributed to these factors. (In the
second season, all legumes germinated well on soils
with manure and Single Superphosphate 1i..ih_..I i In
the discussions, farmers said that growing a good
legume crop would require planting on better land or
applying manure. However, it would be difficult for a
farmer to favor legumes over maize in the application of
manure or the allocation of land. Farmers thus
concluded that those legumes best suited to
intercropping systems would be more compatible with
their needs. In doing so, labor would be reduced and
legumes would benefit from the manure or fertilizer
applied to maize and from planting on prime land.
Although some households may have sufficient
resources to grow single crop legumes, those systems
would suffer in households with more limited resources.


Diseases and pests were mentioned as the additional
common constraint to legume production. Farmers
observed that some soil-borne pests destroyed the
seed of both legumes and maize before germination.
Night attacks by wild animals also destroyed seeds and
seedlings. Aphids were a problem for cowpea,
groundnut and bambara plants in the dry spell. The
aphid attack was so devastating that the bunch cowpea
did not yield any grain in some farmers' fields. Farmers
tried to control aphids by using Surf detergent, but it
was ineffective. Farmers also did not know how to
counteract the attack of boring insects, whose larvae
laid eggs inside the pods and destroyed the fresh
pigeon pea grain in both harvests. In general, pests are
an extremely important constraint to production of


cowpea, pigeon pea, and grahamiana, which
experienced similar problems. Arrangements are
underway to involve entomologists and p. i:'li":..i;':: in
the project in order to investigate disease and pest
attacks on the legumes.


Seed availability was widely mentioned as a big
problem for adoption. For maximum soil benefits from
legumes, biomass has to be incorporated into the soil
(Bowen et al. 1988; Ikerra et al. 2000; Singh 1983).
Evidence is conflicting, but Gilbert (1998), Kumwenda
et al. (1997), and Chanika et al. (1999) reported that
best responses for maize came when the legumes
were incorporated at peak .l......._.. _.i However, this
practice leads to seed ... :i I-.ii, problems. Sakala et
al. (2001) observed no difference in yield response
between incorporating at flowering and incorporating
after seed harvest. Farmers did not incorporate the
legumes at flowering, as required by the project,
because they wanted seed with which to expand
,i i.. i. of legumes in the next season. Sakala's
observation, if borne out, would be a better fit with the
wishes of farmers and the concept of :-.-- i i,,.i.r,,


Market issues were another constraint that farmers
mentioned, especially for legumes such as mucuna.
Although small production levels of traditional legumes
did not worry farmers much, farmers needed to know
,..i,.ei-, ri-.-.' would be able to sell their product at
market if they produced the seed in bulk. Adoption would
be affected if markets were not identified for such
legumes. Development of technology with farmers
should therefore go along with identification of market
opportunities. There is a need to empower farmers to
create markets within their communities. For example, in
Mangochi, Malawi, the soil i. i.hil_ project implemented
by ICRISAT taught farmers how to prepare mucuna for
consumption. In the second season participating
farmers started selling it in the local market as a snack.
The market for mucuna was created and is still there in
the area. Spreading information on how to prepare
mucuna could likewise lead to the creation of markets
for local consumption in Zimbabwe.











The lack of technical knowledge by farmers on
legume management and utilization was also a
constraint. Farmers might have heard of legumes
such as mucuna, pigeon pea, sunnhemp, and
grahamiana, but they had not seen them before.
When these legumes were first introduced to them
by the project, most farmers allocated them to poor
soils because they were uncertain about the legumes
and did not want to take unknown risks. Those
farmers that took the risks associated with growing
the legumes on their better fields had good yields,
demonstrating the potential of the legumes.
However, there was still minimal knowledge on
management issues, such as proper time to plant in
an intercrop, time to incorporate the legumes into the
soil and on utilization such as preparation of mucuna
seeds for consumption was still minimal. In the
following seasons, experiments were designed and
implemented to demonstrate on some of the
technical issues.


In addition, legumes that provide food or other
corollary benefits (such as animal feed) have a
relatively higher potential of being adopted. Although
legumes such as sunnhemp, grahamiana, and
mucuna do not provide food value, grahamiana and
mucuna have other values. Grahamiana grows well in
a maize intercrop and produces a lot of leaf biomass
for incorporation. Mucuna grows faster and produces
a lot of leaf biomass for incorporation, as well as a lot
of seed. Mucuna seed has food value, but it requires a
very complicated and long preparation process before
it can be consumed.


Allocation of limited resources was another constraint
mentioned by some farmers. Legumes best suited to
single crop systems would not be the best option for
those with limited land, manure and labour. The
priority in any season was to grow a food crop, in this
case maize, on prime land with a large share of
resources. Thus, legumes that would perform best in a
single crop system would likely not be adopted by
such households.


Discussion


Biological performance of legume systems

Biomass performance. The legumes that produced
more biomass in intercrop also produced a better
grain yield. As a general rule of thumb, only legumes
producing above 2 t of biomass (about 60 kg N/ha)
would be expected to provide a better yield response
for maize the following year (Gilbert 1999; ICRISAT
2000). The biomass shown in the figures indicates
that little impact should be observed next season.
However, Buckles et al. (1998), in their study on
mucuna in the hillside of northern Honduras, found
that soil fertility improvements from the legumes were
relative to biomass accumulation. There may be
some variability in terms of impact since the yields
shown are the average of the four mother fields.


Field type differences. Performance for individual
fields in Zimuto was variable, with crops in the
homestead fields performing better than those in
the topland. Yield response for the following year
may therefore be better in the homesteads than in
the topland. The low biomass and grain yields were
the result of water deficit stress experienced during
the eight-week dry spell, which caused severe
damage to the crops through moisture stress and
diseases. Loehman et al (1994) observed similar
effects of a dry spell in a study on measuring yield
risk effects of new technologies in Cameroon.
Nevertheless, the fact that legumes in the
homestead fields performed better than those in
the topland fields indicates that soil fertility is a key
issue to consider in producing good legume crops.
Poor performance of legumes on abandoned fields
suggests that it is difficult and expensive to
establish legumes in poor soils. The topland is less
fertile, causing poor germination and minimal
growth. This is exacerbated in some cases by
shallow soil. Normal establishment of legumes
would require boosting growth by applying
inorganic fertilizer.











Maize yields. The results of maize yield in the
intercropping systems showed that different legumes
have different effects on yield. The plots in which
maize yields were greater than the control plot
i!.ii. i. .I a i,,- iI. i:ii between that legume and
maize. For example, the grahamiana-maize intercrop
not only had a high grahamiana biomass yield but
also had the highest maize yields. Similarly, the
pigeon pea and groundnut intercrop plots had better
maize yields than other legumes. Despite good
performance from the grahamiana-based system,
farmers observed that pigeon pea and groundnut-
based systems were more desirable because of the
grain they harvested from these legumes. Finally, the
total loss of maize yield in the sunnhemp intercrop
implies that it likely has little chance of being
adopted, as farmers will not intercrop it for its soil
fertility benefits alone. Its fast growing characteristics
cause it to cover and shade the maize easily. Its fast
growing nature also means that the leaf biomass is
ready for incorporation when the maize is still green
(Gilbert 1999). The high biomass yield from
sunnhemp suggests that the crop took advantage of
the resources that were applied to maize. A yield of
more than 2 t/ha would be necessary in the next
season to offset the loss made by the competitive
effect of sunnhemp the i .. : I season and provide
a net benefit.


Implications. The implications from these studies are
numerous. First, legumes will not be adopted purely
for soil fertility benefit. Farmers must perceive other,
corollary benefits (Gilbert 1999), which include
suitability in intercropping systems (Figure 6),
additional grain yield for food (Low et al. 1991; Figure
4), weed suppression (Vissoh et al. 1998), and use of
legumes for animal feed and fuelwood. Second,
legume performance by field type may be a constraint
to adoption, especially for resource poor farmers who
cannot afford enough manure. Third, legumes could
play an important role in diversifying farmers' cropping
systems if they are well managed.


Perceptions of farmers on field
performance of legumes

Agronomic and biometric evaluations of technologies,
though useful, are no substitutes for farmer
evaluation (Mutsaers et al. 1997). Statistical
evaluation indicates relative performance of
technologies based on a given set of conditions, but it
does not explain the varied perceptions of farmers
regarding the technologies 1 -.i i ...-. ; et al. 1997).
What farmers perceive as positive in their condition
reflects their socioeconomic status, making farmer
evaluations the key to the success of any technology.
The results of a one-year interaction with farmers
indicates that their involvement in developing new
technologies increased their demand for more
legumes. In addition, gender played a role in the
importance given to different uses of the legumes.
While immediate needs such as food and fuelwood
were highly emphasized by female farmers,
emphasis among male farmers leaned towards
animal feed. Although the trends were similar,
individual group rankings of legumes and their uses
vary somewhat (Appendices 1-3). A general overview
of opportunities and constraints identified by farmers
is listed in Table 7. Farmers ranked mucuna highly
because of its high biomass in a single crop system,
while grahamiana was found to be best for
intercropping. Results shown in the figures agree
with farmers' perceptions that mucuna performs
better as a single crop and that grahamiana and
pigeon pea are best for both intercrop and single
crop systems. The results imply that planting maize
together with either of these legumes could increase
farm crop yields from a piece of land.


The wide range of constraints given in Table 7
indicates that establishing the legumes was not
easy for farmers. In general, labor was not
thought to be a big problem because draft animal
power was used for plowing. However, more
problems may exist in households with no draft
power, especially in establishing the legumes in











single crop systems. These households may not
have the capacity to hire in labor for timely planting
and weeding of legumes. Single crop legume
systems therefore best fit those that have adequate
resources, including land and potential labour. The


ranking also implies that decisions about what
legume to incorporate in the systems may depend
on the influence of the head of the household
(Fergusson 1994; Kolli and Bantilan 1997).


Table 7. Constraints and opportunities identified by farmers in Chikato

Legume Constraints Opportunities

Cowpea -Aphid attack Intercropping reduces aphids
-Twine maize
Used Surf detergent but not effective


Bambara No intercropping Rotation with rapoko
Prone to striga (Bise)


Groundnuts Aphid attack Intercropping reduces aphids
Competes for planting labor with maize -Market available


Mucuna -Poisonous -Reduces weeds
-Grows faster, kills maize, -More biomass
additional labor is needed -Pestresistant
Dried seed difficultto open
No markets
Little knowledge
-Seed availability


Pigeon pea Seed availability Animals like the crop
Pod diseases and pests Suits intercropping
No proper growth on poor soils


Grahamiana -No food value Suited to intercropping
No market -Suppresses weeds


Sunnhemp -No food value Animals eatit
No market
Little biomass
No intercropping
Requires manure


Soybean Requires manure Food value (home made
No intercropping soymilk and bread)
Little biomass at harvest Market available
Seed availability Soil fertility


0










Conclusions


The performance of legumes across field types has indicated that most legumes are suitable for homestead fields.
Farmers' evaluation of legumes showed a high interest in mucuna for a single crop system, and grahamiana or pigeon
pea for intercropping systems. The legumes that provided high yields in the single and intercrop systems were also
valued for their potential to improve soil fertility The opportunities arising from the evaluation were the ;.i .:11:. ,i. I of
legumes by field type, the need to improve planting depth, and new ideas about the iwh ,i:..: I of legumes. The
greatest challenges were noted to be diseases and pests (especially in pigeon pea and cowpea) and soil fertility The
issue of labor problems merits further research, as do the topics of improvements in intercropping to reduce yield
reduction and the topic of legume utilization.









References


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and D.J. Lathwell. 1988. Screening legume green manure as
nitrogen sources to succeeding non-legume crops. Plant and
Soil 111:75-80.
Buckles, D., B. Triomphe and G. Sain. 1998. Cover crops in
hillside agriculture. Farmer innovation with mucuna. Ottawa:
International Development and Research Centre (IDRC) and
Mexico, DF: CIMMYT.
Byerlee, D. 1989. The adoption of agricultural technology: A
guide for survey design. Mexico D.F.: CIMMYT Economics
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Chanika, C.S.M., S. Abeyasakera, J.M. Ritchie, C.R. Ritchie, C.B.K.
Mkanadawire, H. Mputeni, D. Making, and A.T. Daudi. 2000.
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Appendix 1


Mixed (male and female) group perceptions on legume uses.

Legume Uses Ranking


Cowpea Food 3.8
-Markets 2.0
Animal feed 2.6


Groundnuts Food 3.7
-Animal feed -3.4
-Markets 2.4
-Soil fertility 2.5


Bambara Food; lupiza, snack, relish 3.6
-Market 2.9


Mucuna Could be used for food 1.6
Soil fertility 3.8
Observed animals eat leaf 1.0
-Reduced weeds 3.8


Grahamiana Soil fertility 3.8


Sunnhemp -Soil fertility -3.8
-Feed animals 1.6


Pigeon pea Food 3.2
Soil fertility 3.0
-Animal feed 3.6
Markets 1.0


Soybean Food; soybean milk, porridge 3.0
-Markets 2.2
Soil fertility 2.0











Appendix 2


Male group perceptions on legume uses.

Legume Uses Ranking


Cowpea Food; leaf and grain vegetable, paste 4
Markets -3.2
-Residues as feed 2.0


Groundnuts Food; relish, peanut butter, snack, seasoning 4.0
Animal feed -3.8
-Markets 2.9


Bambara Food; lupiza, snack, relish 3.4
-Markets 3.0


Mucuna Could be used for food 1.4
Soil fertility 4.0
-Observed animals eat leaf 1.2
-Weed suppression 3.6


Grahamiana Soil fertility 3.8
-Firewood 1.0


Sunnhemp Soil fertility 1.6
-Animal feed -1.2


Pigeon pea Food; fresh grain, snack, relish 3.8
Soil fertility 3.4
-Animal feed 3.5
-Markets 1.7
-Fuel wood 1.0


Soybean -Food; soybean milk, porridge -3.9
-Markets 1.3
Soil fertility 2.8











Appendix 3


Female group perceptions on legume use.

Legume Uses Ranking


Cowpea Leaves as vegetable relish, pods as relish and 3.9
snack, grain cooked, mixed with maize kernels
Sell 2.4


Bambara Food 3.7
Sell 3.0


Groundnut Residues for manure 2.0
-Food 3.6
Sell 2.4
-Animal feed 2.8


Mucuna Green manure 3.8
-Animal feed 1.0
-Food 1.2
-Weed suppression 2.9


Grahamiana Soil fertility 3.6
-Weed suppression -2.4
-Fuel wood -1.4


Sunnhemp Soil fertility 2.6


Soybean -Food -3.0


Pigeon pea -Food -3.4
-Animal feed -2.8
Soil fertility 3.0
-Fuel wood -1.6




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