International Journal of Arts and Humanities

ISSN 2360-7998

Desho Grass (Pennisetum glaucifolium Trin.) Varieties: On-Farm Evaluation and Pre-Extension Demonstration

Abstract: Three districts (Negele Arsi, Shashemene and Wondo) in the West Arsi zone of Oromia regional state and one district (Wondogenet) in the Sidama regional state of Ethiopia were used to conduct on farm evaluation and pre-extension demonstration of recently released Desho grass varieties to evaluate the varieties on-farm agronomic and yield performance as well as to demonstrate, popularize and create awareness of the benefits of the tested grass varieties. Based on the forage production potential and accessibility for field visits and monitoring, three representative peasant associations were selected from each district. Within each peasant association, 15 farmers willing to accept and share forage production technology were purposively selected and grouped into a farmer research extension group. Three hosting (trial) farmers were selected from each farmer research extension group, with the remaining farmers becoming participants (visiting farmers) in each peasant association. The hosting farmers were selected based on their ownership of adequate and suitable land to accommodate trials, their capacity to manage planted forage crops, their willingness to share their experience with others, and proximity to roads, which increased the likelihood of many stakeholders visiting them. One potential farmer training center in each district was used as a demonstration site as well as a source of planting material for the future. Three Desho grass varieties (Areka, Kindu kosha, and Kulumsa) were evaluated and visited at the farmers’ training center with a plot size of 10 m × 10 m in each district. Accordingly, Areka and Kulumsa gave a higher amount (57.33 and 52.33 tons ha-1) of fresh biomass yield and (13.49 and 12.56 tons ha-1) of dry matter yield, respectively while Kindu kosha produced (49.46 tons ha-1) and (11.66 tons ha-1) fresh biomass yield and dry matter yield at the study site, respectively. Based on the performance of the varieties and visiting farmers’ feedback, further large-scale scaling of the two varieties (Areka and Kulumsa) should be conducted in the study area and areas with similar agro-ecologies. Thus, it could be concluded that Areka and Kulumsa varieties should be recommended to improve the constraint of feed shortage in the study area and in areas with similar agro-ecologies.


Keywords: Desho Grass; Dry Matter; Fresh Biomass; Varieties.