Adaptation of mustard oilseedunder Kenyan condition


M. J. Mahasi, P. Mbehero and J.W. Kamundia

There is great potential for producing oilseed mustard as a cash crop and alternative crop for Kenya since its very early maturing (80 days) and highly adaptable. Oilseed mustard offers promise for semi-arid areas where Canola is not adapted. Its early maturity makes it an ideal break crop. The largest wheat and maize producing districts are experiencing excessive soil acidity, disease and pest problems due to continuous cropping. To alleviate this, a cheap and environmentally safe alternative crop has to be sought. During the 4 months fallow period after harvest, mustard can be seeded and ploughed in as green manure to increase the organic matter in the soil or the seed can be harvested and sold to the processors. The performance trials were conducted in two years ( 2002 and 2003) and comprised of 10 cultivars of oilseed mustards. These were planted at Njoro, Lanet and Naivasha in a Completely Randomized Block Design (RCBD) with 4 replicates. The seed rate was 10 kg/ha. The source of nitrogen and phosphorus was DAP mixed with the seed at 100 kg/ha during planting. Recommended agronomic practices were followed and data collected on various agronomic parameters but only the seed yield was subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The genotypes were significantly different (P< 0.05) in Njoro and Lanet in 2002 and at all sites in 2003. However seed yields at Lanet were generally low compared to the other 2 sites. Five lines in Njoro (Kenmd 02, Kenmd 03, Kenmd 08, Kenmd 09, Kenmd10) ranged between 1273 and 1302 kg/ha. Kenmd 09 and Kenmd 10 yielded highest in Naivasha (1226 kg/ha) with the lowest yielder in Njoro (Kenmd 01) being outstanding in Naivasha (1389 kg/ha). Kenmd 02 and Kenmd 05 were superior in Njoro and Naivasha in 2003. The superior mustard lines have been recommended for commercial production.

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