Performance and participatory evaluation of green gram genotypes in the semi-arid environments of Eastern Kenya

Published in: East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal
Volume 83, issue 2, 2019 , pages: 119–136
DOI: 10.1080/00128325.2019.1599491
Author(s): R KarimiCrop Improvement, Kenya, RM NairLegume Breeding, India, D LedesmaBiometric, Taiwan, DL MutisyaCrop Improvement, Kenya, L MuthoniSocio-Economics, Kenya


Green gram (Vigna radiata (L.) R Wilczek var. radiata) is an important pulse in the climatically marginal areas of Eastern Kenya. The pulse is cultivated primarily for food grain and income generation. Its productivity in Eastern Kenya has declined, because of drought and use of late maturing varieties. The objectives of the experiment were to (i) evaluate green gram introductions for adaptability and seed yield in semi-arid areas of eastern Kenya and (ii) identify farmer preferred green gram lines through participatory variety selection. Twenty green gram lines including recent introductions, improved commercial varieties and a land race were evaluated in nine environments. Participatory variety selection was conducted to identify farmer selection criteria and acceptability. Genotypic variation and genotypes × environment interactions were observed. A wide range of seed sizes among the lines from small, medium to large was recorded. Lines AVMU 8501, AVMU 0801 and AVMU 1003 yielded higher grain in almost all the environments indicating broad adaptation. Line AVMU 8501 was superior for grain yield giving yield advantage of 13%, 70% and 32% over the best commercial variety KAT N26 and 21%, 17% and 28% over KS 20 at Environment 4, Environment 7 and Environment 9, respectively. Early maturity, yield and pod/seed size were important traits that influence adoption of green gram in Kenya. AVMU 0801, AVMU 1003 and AVMU 8501 were identified as the most farmer preferred lines. These, if well adopted, can go a long way in increasing the green gram productivity in drought prone Kenyan arid and semi-arid lands that experience erratic rainfall.

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