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Agroforestry systems with trees for biomass production in western Kenya

Sjögren, Hans (2015). Agroforestry systems with trees for biomass production in western Kenya. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Umeå : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2015:63
ISBN 978-91-576-8324-3
eISBN 978-91-576-8325-0
[Doctoral thesis]

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Low agricultural production and a decline in fuelwood resources are serious constraints for subsistence smallholder farmers in western Kenya in the sub-Saharan African region. Furthermore, low soil fertility and general environmental degradation has contributed to the build-up of the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica. Improved cropping systems have to be introduced to address the interrelated problems of declining soil fertility and Striga infestation. Two studies were performed in the highlands of western Kenya, one with improved fallows with Sesbania sesban, and one with hedgerow intercropping. Farmers can use Sesbania not only for soil improvement, but also for fuelwood, poles and fodder. Maize (Zea mays L.) yields and levels of Striga infestation on farm land were assessed after improved fallows with leguminous tree/shrub Sesbania sesban. Six experimental treatments were arranged in a phased entry, and randomized complete block design. The treatments were 6 and 18 month improved fallow, 6 and 18 month natural fallow consisting of regrowth of natural vegetation without cultivation, continuous maize cropping with and without fertilizer application. Results showed that improved fallows increased maize yield relative to continuous unfertilized maize. The results also indicated that a new rotation of Sesbania could be recommended after 2-3 seasons to improve maize production. Short-duration natural fallows were ineffective. The 6 and 18 month improved fallow produced 21 t ha⁻¹ and 61 t ha⁻¹ Sesbania biomass, respectively. The high production of Sesbania biomass was an added benefit to this type of improved fallow systems. Striga plant populations were not significantly affected. Effects of hedgerow intercropping on maize yields was assessed in a farmer-participatory trial. Results showed that farmers established dense hedgerows, but annual yields of hedgerow pruning of Leucaena leucocephala and Calliandra calothyrsus were low compared to potentials in the region. There were no significant differences in maize yields, but reduced slopes significantly from 7.2% to 4.5% between alleys. The results showed that improved fallow systems can produce both increased maize yields and wood biomass.

Authors/Creators:Sjögren, Hans
Title:Agroforestry systems with trees for biomass production in western Kenya
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2015
Number of Pages:43
ISjögren, H., Shepherd, K.D., Karlsson, A. 2010. Effects of improved fallow with Sesbania sesban on maize productivity and Striga hermonthica infestation in western Kenya. Journal of Forestry Research 21: 379-386.
IISjögren, H., Savadogo, P., Shepherd, K.D., Karlsson, A. 2015. Growth of Sesbania sesban and natural weed in an improved fallow system in western Kenya. (Manuscript)
IIIShepherd, K.D., Ndufa, J.K. Ohlsson, E., Sjögren, H., Swinkels, R.A. 1997. Adoption potential of hedgerow intercropping in maize-based cropping systems in the highlands of western Kenya. I. Background and agronomic evaluation. Experimental Agriculture 33:197-209.
Place of Publication:Umeå
Publisher:Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8324-3
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8325-0
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:F Plant production > F01 Crop husbandry
F Plant production > F08 Cropping patterns and systems
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Agrovoc terms:agroforestry, zea mays, crop yield, biomass, sesbania sesban, fallow, alley intercropping, striga hermonthica, weeds, parasitic plants, kenya
Keywords:agroforestry, crop yield, improved fallow, on-farm research, residual effect, Sesbania sesban, Striga hermonthica
Permanent URL:
ID Code:12165
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: Mr Hans Sjögren
Deposited On:04 May 2015 07:06
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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