QUALITY AND SUPPLY OF FINGER MILLET SEEDS IN SOIN DIVISION OF KERICHO COUNTY
Finger millet production in Soin division of Kericho County has been low due to seeds of unknown quality which farmers produce and use. The objectives of this study were to establish sources of finger millet seeds used by small scale farmers, determine the quality of finger millet seeds and the effect of farmers’ practices such as; seed selection, processing and storage on seed quality. A survey was done and questionnaires were distributed using snowballing technique and a total of 177 farmers responded. Information on location of residence, level of education of the farmer, experience in farming and methods of seed selection, processing and storage was sought. Seed samples were collected and assessed for purity, seed germination, germination index, electrical conductivity, accelerated ageing, seed moisture content and seed health. Data analysis for the survey was summarized as frequencies and percentages while seed quality tests were assessed using the one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Kruskal Wallis test. The seed test results that showed statistically significant differences in their mean values (P<0.05) using ANOVA were further subjected to the Bonferroni Multiple Comparisons Test while those differences obtained using Kruskal Wallis (P<0.05) were further subjected to Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test. The distribution of the farmers in the division was even in all the six locations and 88% of the respondents sourced their seeds from the informal seed supply. Twenty-two percent obtained their seeds from the formal seed supply. At most 65% of them had primary level of education but interestingly had a wider experience in the growing of finger millet. About 7% of the respondents obtaining seeds from the seed company reported that the seeds were early maturing.All the other seed quality properties from the informal seed supply except for the percentage moisture content showed lower values when compared to the control (certified seeds). Existing knowledge show that smoke enhances seed germination but this study observed that seeds stored above fire places had the lowest germination percentage. Excessive heat was suspected for this observation. It was therefore concluded that most finger millet farmers in Soin Division sourced seeds from the informal sector and that different methods of producing seeds affected seed quality properties. The study recommended that finger millet farmers from this division be equipped with knowledge on the importance of using quality seeds through training on seed selection criteria and proper post-harvest handling of the seeds.
SubjectFINGER MILLET SEEDS, FINGER MILLET SEEDS IN SOIN DIVISION kERICHO, FINGER MILLET QUALITY AND SUPPLY, FINGER MILLET SEED PROCESSING AND STRORAGE
- DAVID KIPLANG’AT NG’ENO.pdf
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