Effect of napier head smut disease on napier yields and the disease coping strategies in farming systems in central Kenya
Mwendia, S W
Wahome, R G
Mwangi, D M
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A survey was done in a total of 204 households in three districts of central Kenya, Kiambu, Thika and Nyeri to capture the dairy keeping systems, extent of napier head smut disease, coping strategies employed by the affected and the up take of a smut resistant napier accession (Kakamega I). The survey was designed such that at least 65 house holds were interviewed per district in three sub-locations. One of the three sub-locations was viewed as a "contact" sub-location in which a group of farmers had collected Kakamega I napier grass seed from the Agricultural Research Centre Muguga and the other two sub-locations were at 5km radius from the "contact" to capture the spread of Kakamega I and were regarded as "non-contact". The results indicated that dairy cattle were mostly confined and all feed brought to them or zero-grazed in Kiambu and Thika districts while in Nyeri there was a combination of confinement and some grazing or semi zero grazing. Of all those interviewed 62.8 % of the households (HHs) had napier head smut disease. The estimated dry matter reduction due to smut ranged between 0.0002 - 0.265 t ha-1 yr-1. Of the 150 HHs that were randomly selected only 19% had the smut resistant Kakamega I. Coping strategies on napier head smut disease were mainly uprooting affected tillers and stools by the affected HHs.