Physical Quality of Pigeon Pea Seeds used by Farmers and Related Production Characteristics of the Crop in Tanzania
Current Topics in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 8,
16 June 2022
In Tanzania and elsewhere in the region, the majority of resource-poor farmers use their own non-commercial quality farm-saved seeds of lesser-priority crops like pigeon pea. Such seed is always suspect in terms of quality. A survey was conducted in northern Tanzanian districts of Karatu and Babati with objectives: i) to establish quality status of the farm-saved seeds of the pigeon pea crop, ii) to determine the crop’s production characteristics in relation with seeds used. Farm-saved seeds from 80 farmers from the previous crop season were gathered for laboratory quality assessment. Only roughly 7.5 percent of the samples in both districts were of acceptable grade, based on three physical quality criteria of seed: germination capacity, purity, and moisture content. The majority of samples failed, particularly in terms of purity. Overall, 66.2 percent of the farmers employed local traditional kinds of the crop rather than improved versions, and the majority were sowing as many as four seeds per hill. Intercropping was employed by 88.7% of the farmers for the pigeon pea, 53.8 percent used store pest pesticides on their crop, and the vast majority did not sort the seeds they used for or prior to sowing. It is anticipated that production qualities are related to seed quality to some extent, although additional research is needed.
- Farm saved seed
- germination capacity
- improved varieties
- minimum standards