| print Print version | comment Comments (0 posted)

Farmers’ Knowledge on Macadamia Genetic Diversity in Kenya as a Means for in situ Conservation

By ayman on June 08,2008

Lucy N. Gitonga, Esther M. Kahangi, Anne W.T. Muigai, Kamau Ngamau, Simon T. Gichuki, Evans Mutuma Wilson Cheluget, and Brown G.Watiki


Macadamia, a member of the family Proteaceae, is widely grown in Kenya as an alternative cash crop to tea and coffee, but varieties adapted to different agro-ecological zones are still lacking. Macadamia breeders require high genetic diversity to select and recombine favorable traits through cross-breeding and hence the need for in situ conservation of existing germplasm. A survey was done to assess the variability that exists in farmers’ field and how well they can differentiate between different macadamia types and to locate valuable germplasm for further evaluation and conservation. A total of 185 farmers were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire and descriptive statistics was done using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The survey results indicated that only 10.3% of the respondents could differentiate Macadamia types, by species, among them only 2.8% could do so by varieties, indicating a limited knowledge on Macadamia morphology. Nut characteristics (97.3%) followed by leaf characteristics (88.0%) and yield (88.0%) were the morphological markers mostly used by farmers. Detailed morphological and molecular characterization of some selected promising accessions is ongoing. Hence, there is a need for farmers’ training on morphological markers that could be used to select valuable Macadamia germplasm for conservation in situ.

Keywords: Agro-ecological zones, Farmers’ knowledge, Genetic diversity, Germplasm, in situ conservation, Macadamia, Morphological markers, Proteaceae, Kenya.

[read document]

3511 times read

comment Comments (0 posted)
Most Popular

Powered by ColorBoxes Inc