Item Details

Title: Prospects and constraints of finger millet production in Eastern Uganda

Date Published: 1999
Author/s: JS Tenywa, P. Nyende, M. Kidoido , V. Kasenge , J. Oryokot and S. Mbowa
Data publication:
Funding Agency : The Rockefeller Foundation's Forum on Agricultural Resource Husbandry
Copyright/patents/trade marks: African Crop Science Society
Journal Publisher: African Crop Science Journal
Affiliation: Department of Soil Science, Makerere University, PO Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
1 Department of Agricultural Economics, Makerere University, PO Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
2 Serere Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute, PO Soroti, Uganda
Keywords: Drought, Eleusine coracana , gender, labor, manure, soil fertility, weeds


Finger millet ( Eleusine coracanaL.) is a major staple and cash crop in northern, eastern, western and southwestern Uganda. However, research on the crop has been limited. As such, a survey was conducted in eastern Uganda (Kumi, Pallisa and Kamuli districts) to establish the status of the crop, its production constraints and prospects for its development. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to fifty households per district, during the period October-December, 1998. Land productivity has declined considerably in the study districts and low soil fertility is a major factor in this respect. Production of the crop is hampered by many constraints, the major ones being inadequate labor for weeding and harvesting, frequent drought, pests and diseases, and soil exhaustion. The region is highly dependent on oxen for land preparation. Finger millet production activities are generally gender neutral. The crop is grown almost exclusively once a year. Inter-cropping and crop rotation are common practices in finger millet production, and the role of finger millet as a cash crop is on the increase. Prospects for development of the crop lie in increasing yield through generation of labor-saving technologies, particularly for weeding and harvesting, and development of farmer-friendly packages for pests and disease management, drought mitigation and soil fertility management. A follow-up on-farm soil fertility management study was conducted to investigate the response of finger millet sown in rows or broadcasted, to various soil fertility management regimes. Row planting resulted in significantly (P <0. 05) better finger millet growth and yield than broadcasting. Combined application of P and N, or P and manure gave the highest yields. Application of N alone delayed flowering and physiological maturity of the crop by 1 and 2 weeks, respectively. There was no significant (P <0.05) effect of planting pattern or fertilizer treatment on threshing percentage.