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American Journal of Experimental Agriculture, ISSN: 2231-0606,Vol.: 13, Issue.: 3


Status and Production Practices of Vegetable African Nightshade (Solanum nigrum L.) in Selected Communities of Kenya


Cecilia Moraa Onyango1*, Edward Gizemba Ontita2, Richard Ndemo Onwong’a3, Nyamongo Desterio4 and Jean R. Gapusi5

1Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection, University of Nairobi, P.O.Box 29053-00625, Nairobi, Kenya.

2Department of Sociology and Social Work, University of Nairobi, P.O.Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

3Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, University of Nairobi, P.O.Box 29053-00625, Nairobi, Kenya.

4Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Genetic Resources Research Institute P.O.Box 781 – 00902, Kikuyu, Kenya.

5Biodiversity Conservation Expert, Independent Consultant, Ecovillage Rwanda, P.O.Box 532, Butare, Rwanda.

Article Information
(1) Lanzhuang Chen, Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Environment and Horticulture, Minami Kyushu University, Miyazaki, Japan.
(1) Funda Eryilmaz Acikgoz, Namik Kemal University, Turkey.
(2) M. Kumar, Vanavarayar Institute of Agriculture, Mannakadvu, Tamil Nadu, India.
(3) T. A. Okeowo, Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, Nigeria.
(4) Willem Jansen Van Rensburg, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa.
Complete Peer review History: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history/15480


Aims: In order to improve production, utilization and conservation of African nightshades (ANS) in Kenya, this study set out to better understand the current status and agronomic practices employed by some of the Kenyan communities.

Study Design: The study entailed a survey of African nightshade farmers.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in representative counties, Kisii, Kakamega and Nakuru, of Kenya between the months of October and November, 2015.

Methodology: A total of 630 ANS farmers (210 farmers per county) randomly sampled from purposively selected sub-counties in each of the three counties were used. The farmers interviewed consisted of men, women and youth. In addition, 6 focus group discussions consisting of 15 participants per group and 9 key informant interviews were conducted in each county to provide detailed information and opinion on the data collected during the survey. Data was collected on characteristics of Solanum farmers, agronomic practices in ANS production, amount of land allocated to ANS, income from ANS sales and challenges encountered in ANS production.

Results: Results indicated that 75-80% of the ANS growers were women and 63% of farmers in Kakamega had primary education while 56% in Kisii and 40% in Nakuru of the farmers had high school education. Production is in small holdings (<0.25 acres), 71%-80% of all farmers used hand hoes while planting methods differed among the communities with hill planting being dominant in Kakamega (70%) and broadcasting common in Nakuru (42%). Further >50% of the farmers mainly applied wood ash for pest and disease control while 73% used animal manure for plant nutrition. The farmers identified pests and diseases as the main challenge encountered during ANS production. 

Conclusion: ANS production is mainly a women activity with formal education up to secondary school level. More land is being allocated for ANS production. However, the production is still on small scale using rudimentary tools and farmers employ traditional methods to control pests and diseases. Moreover, pests and diseases is the main limitation to increased production of ANS.

Keywords :

African nightshades; production; underutilized; vegetables; Kenya.

Full Article - PDF    Page 1-12

DOI : 10.9734/AJEA/2016/27363

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