Potential opportunities and constraints in utilising AVRDC-distributed vegetable seedkit in Arumeru District, Tanzania
Dusabeyezu, M. R.
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The vast majority of yield growth in African agriculture to date has been due to improved seed varieties, as opposed to technological improvements in cultivation practices or other inputs. However, the lack of development and supply of high quality seed stock for Africa indigenous vegetables hampers cultivation, thus, lowering their production. This paper aimed to assess the potential opportunities and constraints in utilising AVRDC-distributed vegetable seedkit in Arumeru district, Tanzania, by identifying both the major types of AVRDC- vegetable seed preferred by farmers in Arumeru district and the important factors motivating farmers’ households’ willingness to adopt AVRDC-indigenous vegetables seedkit. Data were collected from 145 selected small- scale farmers, who received the seedkit from AVRDC, through administering questionnaire, participant observation and interview methods. Correlation and chi-square tests were used to test hypotheses using R software. The results showed that the most preferred vegetables were those with multipurpose [high yield, high consumption and income generation] benefits; and these included tomato, African eggplant, African nightshade and amaranthus. There was low level of willingness to adopt pumpkin leaves, jute mallow, spider plant and sunnhemp as vegetable crops. The main constraints to vegetable production included the lack of knowledge and skills on vegetable production, lack of capital and land to assess the entire seedkit. This study offers answers on opportunities and challenges regarding utilisation of the distributed vegetable seedkit and that farmers in the study area may be adopting multiple forms of vegetable varieties and types from the same kit simultaneously. These results are very important in understanding the challenges facing farmers’ choice of production and consumption of the vegetables in Arumeru district and emphasise the role of knowledge dissemination in promoting and adopting agricultural technologies.
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