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Participatory appraisal of production constraints, preferred traits and farming system of cowpea in the northern Namibia: implications for breeding

DOI: 10.18805/lr.v38i5.5952    | Article Id: LR-218 | Page : 691-700
Citation :- Participatory appraisal of production constraints, preferred traits and farming system of cowpea in the northern Namibia: implications for breeding.Legume Research.2015.(38):691-700
Lydia Horn, Hussein Shimelis and Mark Laing shimelish@ukzn.ac.za
Address : University of KwaZulu-Natal, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Private Bag X01, Scottsville-3209, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Abstract

Cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] productivity is low in the subsistence farming systems due to biotic, abiotic and socio-economic constraints. The objective of this study was to assess farmers’- perceived production constraints, preferred traits and the farming system of cowpea, and its implication for breeding in northern Namibia. A participatory rural appraisal studies was conducted across four selected regions of northern Namibia including Kavango East, Kavango West, Oshikoto and Omusati where the crop is predominantly cultivated. Primary data was collected using structured interviews involving 171 households. Results showed that 70.2% farmers grow local unimproved cowpea varieties and 29.8% used improved varieties either singly or in combination of two or three. About 62.6% of interviewed farmers reported low yields of cowpea varying from 100-599 kg/ha, while 6% achieved good grain harvests of 1500-1999 kg/ha. Most farmers (59.1%) produced cowpea for home consumption, while 23.4% indicated its food and market value. Field pests such as aphids (77.8%), leaf beetles (53.2%) and pod borers (60%) and bruchids (100%) were the major constraints. Striga gesnerioides and Alectra Vogelii (Benth) were the principal parasitic weeds reported by 79.5% cowpea farmers. Soil fertility levels were reported to be very low across regions and all farmers did not apply any fertilizers on cowpea. Farmers-preferred traits of cowpea included a straight pod shape (61.4%), a long pod size, bearing at least 10 seeds (68.4%), white grain colour (22.2%) and above ground biomass (42.1%). Inter-cropping of cowpea with sorghum or pearl millet was the dominant cowpea farming system in northern Namibia. 68.4% of farmers used a relatively smaller proportion of their land (

Keywords

Agro-ecology Cowpea Farming system Namibia Participatory rural appraisal.

References

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