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Yield potential and adaptability of medium duration Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L. Millsp.) genotypes in dry parts of North Rift Valley, Kenya

By: Juliana J. Cheboi, Miriam G. Kinyua, Paul K.Kimurto, Oliver K. Kiplagat, Bernard K.Towett, Stella C. Kirui, Gaudencia J. Kiptoo, N.V.P.R Gangarao

Key Words: Pigeonpea, Adaptability, Food security, Underutilized, North Rift valley.

Int. J. Agr. Agri. Res. 9(2), 47-56, August 2016.

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Pigeonpea is an important crop in Semi- Arid tropical and sub- tropical areas. Although it is reported to have wide adaptability to different climates and soils, 98.7% of its production in Kenya is concentrated mainly in three counties (Machakos, Kitui and Makueni) but remains neglected and underutilized in North Rift Valley. Therefore, sixteen elite genotypes from ICRISAT were evaluated for yield performance and adaptability. Also, the study looked at association between grain yield and its yield components. Field experiment was carried out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) replicated three times in three varied agro-ecological zones during long rain season of April-October 2014. Data was collected on grain yield, number of pods/plant, secondary branches, height at maturity, days to 50% flowering, days to physiological maturity, number of seeds/pod and 100 seed weight. The results revealed seven genotypes (ICEAPs 01147, 1147-1, 01159, 00911, 0979-1, 00850C and 1154-2) recording higher yields. Site variation was significant (P≤0.05) with Koibatek recording the highest average yield of 2.5 t/ha, Marigat (0.4 t/ha) and Fluorspar (0.2 t/ha). ICEAP 1147-1 was adaptable to all sites due to its vegetative growth of high branching and podding. This variety may therefore be selected for adaptability preference. Significant (P≤0.05) positive correlation was revealed between grain yield and number of pods/plant, secondary branches, height at maturity and 100 seed weight but negatively with 50% days to flowering. The results suggested pigeonpea yield potential in the studied sites hence, can be promoted to mitigate hunger and malnutrition.

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