Evaluating quality of composts made from organic agro-wastes and their influence on maize yield and soil fauna in Western Kenya

Degradation of soils' physical, chemical and biological properties in arable lands of sub-Saharan Africa mostly results from little or no organic resource application coupled with sub-optimal fertilizer application. A study was conducted in Buyangu and Ivakale villages, Kakamega over three seasons from March 2010 to August 2011 to evaluate the potential of six locally available organic biomasses namely; cow manure, maize stover, Tithonia diversifolia, sugarcane straw, bagasse and filtermud for compost production and their effect on soil quality, soil fauna diversity and on maize yields.

Effects of Drought on Crop Production and Coping Mechanisms Undertaken by Small Scale Farmers: a Case of Makueni County, Kenya.

Drought has adversely affected Kenyan agricultural production. This is evident as Kenya experiences extreme droughts every ten years and less adverse ones every three to four years .Although some mitigation technologies have been employed to reduce food scarcity across the board. However, the situation of food insecurity continues to be a major challenge and sometimes even worsens among human livelihoods. This study seeks to assess farmer‟s access to food in the face of drought, to determine how farmers‟ attitudes to drought determine their vulnerability or resilience.

Ecological and socio-economic factors influencing smallholder Washington navel orange production in the southern lowland zone of Machakos district, Kenya

The main objective of this study was to investigate the ecological and socio-economic factors influencing the production of smallholder Washington Navel oranges in the southern lowland zones of Machakos District. The attention of farmers has shifted from growing other cash crops such as cotton and sunflower to Washington Navel orange production as an alternative source of income in the last five years. A sample size of 183 farmers was interviewed out of 2295 farmers as a representative. In the study four Null hypotheses (Ho) were tested against their alternatives (Hi).

Food borne diseases in Kenya

Objectives: To determine the occurrence of foodborne disease outbreaks in Kenya and the efforts employed to combat them. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting:. Forty two districts in Kenya between 1970 and 1993. Study subjects: Foodborne disease outbreak episodes due to Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinum, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Yersinia enterocolitica, Listera monocytogenes, chemicals, aflatoxin, plant and animal poisons.

Feasibility of Biofuel Production in Kenya: The Case of Jatropha

This paper evaluates the potential of Jatropha curcas Linnaeus (Jatropha) as an alternative source of energy for rural households. The plant is said to have potential to diversify rural incomes, reclaim unproductive lands, reduce importation of fossil fuels, and consequently accumulation of green house gases in the atmosphere. A cost benefit analysis was employed to evaluate the feasibility of producing Jatropha as a biodiesel feedstock in relation to other crops in Kwale district.

Nitrogen fixation associated with maize plants (zea mays l.) in a temperate and a tropical soil

In the temperate soil, low rates of acetylene reduction activity were detected in excised roots of field grown maize without preincubation. A higher acetylene reduction activity (20 nmol C2H4/ g d.wt./ 24 h) was recorded under an atmosphere containing 5% oxygen than when the roots were incubated under 0% and 20% oxygen. Most probable number (MPN) counts of N2- fixing bacteria associated with field grown maize in the temperate soil were estimated at 7.0 x 106 cells/ g d:wt. roots. The acetylene reduction activity rhizosphere soil was very low (1.7 - 5.8 nmol C2H4/ 10 g d.wt.

Analysis Of A Long-Term Maize Yield Field Trial Data To Determine The Effect Of Continuous Application Of Fertilizers

The Kenyan population pressure in the high and medium potential areas has led to continuous cropping thus resulting to severe soil degradation. This has led to the LIse of integrated nutrient management strategies in order to reduce nutrient depletion by use of low cost inputs under sustainable land management. This study seeks to find the effect of farmyard manure, organic fertilizers (NP) and residues on maize yields. This long term trial was started in 1976 and is still going on. Data was analysed up to 2001.

Improved seedling emergence and growth of maize and beans by Trichoderma harziunum

An indigenous strain of Trichoderma spp. was tested for its ability to promote seed germination and growth of maize and bean seedlings grown in the field at Embu District, Kenya. The trial was carried out for three seasons with the following treatments; two types of fertilizers, cow manure, and Trichoderma seed coat. Seedlings were counted 14 days after emergence from soil and a sample gently uprooted using a spade. Shoot height, root length, stem and root diameter measurements were taken.

A description of local pig feeding systems in village smallholder farms of Western Kenya

We used face-to-face interviews to gather data on pig feeding practices in rural Busia District, Kenya. We visited 164 pig farms three times in the course of the study period. The pigs were weighed in kilograms during the visits. Feeds offered to pigs were described during the interviews. The most frequently fed feedstuffs were; ground maize or “ugali” (88%), kitchen leftovers (83%) and dried fish locally called “omena” (78%). Farmers provided pigs with water separately from the feeds.

Incentives for increasing the production of foodcrops among small scale farmers: A case study of Siaya districtca

There has been increasing concern over the food requirements for the country due to the rapid population increase. This is reflected in the various policy measures taken by the government to increase food production and employment opportunities for the population. Siaya District is one of the food deficit districts in the country despite measures which have been taken to increase food production. This study was aimed at finding out why the District is food deficit and what can be done to increase food production.

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