chapter  15
Improved grain legumes for smallholder maize-based systems in Western Kenya
ByPaul L. Woomer, Bonface Omondi, Celister Kaleha, Moses Chamwada
Pages 9

Western Kenya is dominated by small-scale, maize-based farming systems that are undergoing diversification toward market-oriented agriculture as households raise their expected living standards. This chapter examines the testing of promising new legumes and subsequent developments that promote their adoption by small-scale farmers in Western Kenya. The N2Africa Project is actively pursuing management strategies that allow small-scale farmers in Western Kenya and elsewhere to adopt and prosper from these two grain legumes and this work is part of that effort. The N2Africa Project entered into a more development-oriented phase intended for farmers in Western Kenya to enjoy more ready access to commercialized BNF technologies. Many of the field tests provided the focus of farmer field days later in the season and farmer impressions of different varieties and their management were assessed in an informal setting by WeRATE farm liaison staff. Improved management increased resulting root nodule number over two-fold with marked increase in crown nodulation and red interior pigmentation.