African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6849

Full Length Research Paper

Using improved varieties and fertility enhancements for increasing yield of common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) grown by small-landholder farmers in Uganda

Gerald Sebuwufu
  • Gerald Sebuwufu
  • Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, 2104 Agronomy Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1050, United States.
  • Google Scholar
Robert Mazur
  • Robert Mazur
  • Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, 2104 Agronomy Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1050, United States.
  • Google Scholar
Michael Ugen
  • Michael Ugen
  • National Crops Resources Research Institute, Namulonge, P. O. Box 7084, Kampala, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Mark Westgate
  • Mark Westgate
  • Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, 2104 Agronomy Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1050, United States.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 19 February 2015
  •  Accepted: 15 October 2015
  •  Published: 24 December 2015

Abstract

Productivity of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in Uganda is less than 30% of the yield of improved varieties grown on research stations. This yield gap has been attributed mainly to low soil fertility and susceptibility of local varieties saved by farmers to pest and disease infestations. This study evaluated the impact of four improved varieties and soil fertility improvement on bean yields on small-landholder farms in three agro-ecological zones in Uganda. Yields of common bean on-farm without fertilization were on average 523 kg/ha. Enhancing soil fertility on-farm with cattle manure (10 t/ha), P (60 kg/ha), or manure (5 t/ha) + P (30 kg/ha) led to average yields of 631, 615, and 659 kg/ha, respectively. On average, improved varieties produced more yield than the local farmer-saved variety, with or without soil fertility improvement. Improved variety K131 yielded 807 kg/ha, on average, in response to manure application, which was 54% greater than the yield of the local variety. P intensification up to 180 kg/ha per season, however, did not increase bean yields significantly at any of three research stations. These results confirm the yield advantage of growing improved varieties on small-landholder farms. The combination of improved genetics and fertility intensification alone, however, did not eliminate the yield gap between on-farm and potential bean yields. 

 

Key words: Food security, improved varieties, farmer-saved seed, soil fertility, seed quality.