Volume 2 Number 12 December 2016

Farmers? Perceptions of Rain-Fed Wheat Production Constraints, Varietal Preferences and their Implication to Rain-fed Wheat Breeding in Zambia

Authors: Batiseba Tembo ; Julia Sibiya ; Pangirayi Tongoona ; Rob Melis ; Mweshi Mukanga
Pages: 131-139
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the most important widely grown food crops worldwide. In Zambia, it is an important cereal crop, second after maize. However, its production amongst the small-scale farmers has declined over the years. To determine the causes of this decline, a participatory rural appraisal was conducted in Mpika district in Zambia as a case study to assess farmers’ perceived constraints and preferences of rain-fed wheat varieties. Focus group discussions, semi-structured questionnaires, scoring and ranking were used. The results showed that wheat is produced both for food and income generation. The average wheat fields were 0.48 ha, with yields averaging 1.5 t ha -1. The major production constraints are lack of improved seed, bird damage, termites, lack of markets and diseases with spot blotch being the most important. Farmers preferred a white coloured grain cultivar, high yielding, resistant to diseases, termite attack and bird damage.

Growth and Yield Responses of Pigeonpea to Variable Phosphorus Application Rates When Intercropped With Maize under Dryland Conditions

Authors: Fhatuwani Herman Nndwambi ; Irvine Kwaramba Mariga ; Funso Raphael Kutu
Pages: 121-130
An Agronomic field study was conducted at University of Limpopo Experimental farm, Syferkuil, over two summer growing seasons to determine the optimum phosphorus (P) rate and also assess the productivity of pigeonpea under intercrop with maize. Five P rates (0, 15, 30, 45, and 60 kg P ha-1) were evaluated under sole and intercropped pigeonpea. Treatments were laid out in a randomized complete block design with four replicates. Results revealed that variable P fertilizer rates exerted significant effect on pigeonpea grain yield in both seasons. Highest grain yields of 922 and 1141.7 kg ha-1 under sole and intercrop plots, respectively, were achieved at 45 kg P ha-1 during first and second seasons, respectively. However, the predicted optimum grain yield of 734 and 1034 kg ha-1 based on the response model was achieved at 52.67 kg P ha-1 and 42.84 kg P ha-1, in the respective seasons. Intercropping achieved a significantly higher pigeonpea grain yield (+37%) during second year than sole cropping following P addition; with over 21% mean grain yield advantage across the two planting seasons. Hence, depending on the inherent soil-P level, application of 42-53 kg P ha-1 under pigeonpea/maize intercrop represents the range at which P is optimum for maximum pigeonpea grain yield and better returns for farmers.