Introduction of green manure legumes on smallholdings in Kenya: achievements and current activities of the legume screening network.
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Since 1994, the Legume Screening Network of Kenya has undertaken studies on: (1) screening legume germplasm across sites; (2) effectiveness of legume inoculation; (3) management of legume residues; (4) legumes as a component of integrated nutrient management; (5) livestock feeding studies; (6) a participatory cowpea screening trial; and (7) bulking of green manure legume seeds. Promising species for different agro-ecological zones were identified. Studies aimed at incorporating legumes into farming systems were carried out. The first is a legume residue management study aimed at developing green manure legume management practices so as to increase food crop production. The second aims to test the efficacy of different combinations of green manures, compost, farmyard manure and inorganic fertilizers. Participatory cowpea screening trials and an evaluation of the fodder value of green manure legumes are also being conducted. A case study is presented of a farmer who has increased his maize production from 1.3 to 4.5 t/ha by using Crotalaria ochroleuca as green manure. From author's summary. KEYWORDS: TROPAG | Vigna unguiculata | Zea mays | Crotalaria ochroleuca | green manures | legumes | plant introduction | choice of species | adaptation | crop residues | feed legumes | cropping systems.