Kari 4th Scientific Conference October 1994

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Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
On-station germ plasm screening, agronomic and feeding experiments identified the woody legume Leucaena /eucocephata K28 and the local accessions of the herbaceous legumes Clitoria ternatea and Macroptilium atropurpureum as promising forages suitable for on-farmtesting. The three legumes were planted in 1990 on 13 smallholder farms in plots managed jointly by extension officers, researchers and farmers . Four fodder production systems were tested: sole stand of Napier grass; Napier grass intercropped with Clitoria ternatea or Macroptilium atropurpureum; and Leucaena /eucocepha/a alleys planted with maize or Napier grass. The Clitoria and Leucaena performed well and merited further testing under farmer management. A working group of researchers and extensionists was fonned with responsibility for the programme. Field days were held in early 1992 to introduce the Leucaena and Clitoria technologies. Their growth habits, and the recommended planting arrangements and harvesting heights and methods were demonstrated. Seeds were provided from the RRC- Mtwapa through the dairy extension staff. More than 288 farmers planted the legumes. The farmers' establishment and management practices were assessed by dairy extension staff using questionnaires developed by the working group. Over 95% of respondent farmers recommended the legumes to their neighbours. About 60% of farmers adopted the agronomic and feeding practices recommended by research and extension. Membership of a dairy self-help group influenced adoption rate of specific practices. The regional programme had impact in three ways; most participating farmers adopted the forage legumes and recommended them to neighbours; research - extension - farmer linkages were strengthened through testing technologies which addressed jointly Identified objectives; these linkages are facilitating the transfer of other forage technologies. It is recommended that the methodologies and lessons learnt should be applied within other regional programmes.