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Characterization of Field Pea Production and Options for Improved Productivity in Mt. Elgon, Uganda

Bosco Chemayek, Arthur Wasukira, Robert Gidoi, Stephen Wobibi, Doreen Nampamya, Park Teason, Lawrence Owere

Abstract: Field pea is a key source of household income, food and nutrition in Uganda mainly produced in the high land areas of country including south western and Mt. Elgon. The crop fetches a high stable price across markets compared to other grain pulses and yet it has remained outside the mainstream of the research process. The status of this commodity is largely unknown yet such information would support its research agenda to improve productivity and marketing. A study was conducted in the Mt. Elgon sub-zone to determine the status of field pea production, understand its constraints and map out its production cycle. This was done through a survey covering 5 districts namely; Bulambuli, Kapchorwa, Kween, Namisindwa and Mbale. In each district two major field pea growing sub counties were purposively selected, in each sub-county 25 respondents were randomly sampled from a list of field pea producers. A structured questionnaire was then administered; data collated, and analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square test. The results revealed that the crop is grown by all gender categories with 60% grown for home consumption and 40% for income. In the districts of Kween and Mbale it is mostly grown for income since the Kween farmers have relatively larger pieces of land whereas Mbale being a commercial hub of the region there is relatively higher price throughout the year which attracts farmers to sell. Field pea is grown alongside other crops which varied by district but was largely grown as sole crop, along boundaries and intercrops depending on availability of land. It is also important to note that it forms a very important part of the rotation system because it plays a significant role in soil fertility restoration as well as serving as a break crop suitable for rotation to minimize the negative impact of cereal based mono-cropping.
Keywords: crop / Field Pea Production / price / survey / structured / grown

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