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Integrating legumes in mixed crop-livestock systems in east Africa: Farmers' perceptions, ecosystem services and support for decision making

Muoni, Tarirai (2019). Integrating legumes in mixed crop-livestock systems in east Africa: Farmers' perceptions, ecosystem services and support for decision making. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2019:52
ISBN 978-91-7760-422-8
eISBN 978-91-7760-423-5
[Doctoral thesis]

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Challenges faced by smallholder farmers in east Africa include limited access to inputs, small farm sizes, and erratic rainfall patterns. Legume intensification and species diversification have been recommended for improving food and nutritional security, controlling soil erosion, improving soil fertility, supplying income and providing fuel. The aim of the thesis was to assess the various contributions legumes make in integrated crop-livestock systems and to facilitate their efficient use. The approaches used included: 1) an on-farm survey of 268 farmers in Kenya and Democratic Republic of the Congo to assess farmers’ perceptions of legumes and their functions; 2) a metaanalysis on the effects of crop management practices on legume productivity and biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) in sub-Saharan Africa; 3) an on-farm experiment in Kenya investigating the effects of crops and crop mixtures including legumes on soil erosion control; and 4) providing inputs from literature review and experimental results to further develop the LegumeCHOICE decision support tool. Results showed that farmers appreciated legumes more for their food and income functions than for provision of fodder, fuel, soil fertility or erosion control. Furthermore, according to survey work, the concept of “legumes” had little meaning for farmers. The metaanalysis showed that crop management practices directly influenced legume productivity. Intercropping increased the total land equivalent ratio (LER). Focusing on the legume component, pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) had a relative LER of 90%, while for species such as groundnut (Arachis hypogea) and common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) the figure was around 60%. Inoculation and phosphorus (P) application increased legume grain and biomass yield, and species and soil type helped explain the variation of legume productivity in response to those management practices. Inoculation also increased the amount of nitrogen (N) fixed by legumes. Experimental work showed that incorporating different crop types and crop mixtures with legumes increased rainfall infiltration and earthworm population, and reduced runoff and soil erosion. Calliandra hedgerows, mulching and sole Mucuna reduced soil erosion and runoff more than maize/common bean intercropping. Developing literature-derived values as a complement to the expert scores, which presently underlie the LegumeCHOICE tool improved the relationships between the scoring and actual provision of food, livestock feed and soil fertility improvement using grain and biomass yield and BNF as proxies. This thesis shows that farmers in east Africa have some knowledge about legumes although their perception of the various functions legumes provide is limited. Despite heterogeneity of smallholder farming systems, legumes respond consistently to intercropping, inoculation and P-application. Combining literature values with expert scores enhanced the validity of the LegumeCHOICE tool for supporting farmer decision making.

Authors/Creators:Muoni, Tarirai
Title:Integrating legumes in mixed crop-livestock systems in east Africa: Farmers' perceptions, ecosystem services and support for decision making
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2019
Number of Pages:90
IMuoni T.*, Barnes A.P., Öborn I., Watson C.A., Bergkvist G., Shiluli M., Duncan A.J. (2019). Farmer perceptions of legumes and their functions in smallholder farming systems in east Africa. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 17 (3), pp. 205-218.
IIuoni T., Jonsson M., Öborn I., Watson C.A., Bergkvist G., Barnes A.P., Duncan A.J. Effects of management practices on egume productivity in smallholder farming systems in sub- aharan Africa: A meta-analysis (manuscript).
IIIMuoni T.*, Koomson E., Öborn I., Marohn C., Watson C.A, Bergkvist G., Barnes A. P., Cadisch G., Duncan A.J. (2019). Reducing soil erosion in smallholder farming systems in east Africa through the introduction of different crop types. Experimental Agriculture (in press).
IVMuoni T, Öborn I., Duncan A.J., Matching choice of legumes with farmer needs to support decision making – the LegumeCHOICE tool (manuscript)
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-7760-422-8
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-7760-423-5
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Article category:Other scientific
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.: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
Keywords:grain legume,, herbaceous legume, intercropping, soil erosion, sustainable intensification, tree legume
Permanent URL:
ID Code:16308
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: Lennart Wiborgh
Deposited On:04 Sep 2019 09:22
Metadata Last Modified:05 Sep 2019 11:56

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