Production Status and Prospects of Cocoyam (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott.) in East Africa

Department of Crop Science, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, UGANDA
Journal of Root Crops 01/2009; 35:98-107.

ABSTRACT The extent of production and consumption of cocoyam in East Africa is not known neither is the types of cocoyam being grown. This is partly because both researchers and research administrators have ignored it as legitimate crop for research and development (R&D), and their production system is regarded as an informal production activity, managed outside conventional market and economic channels. Yet, in the region, cocoyam is contributing substantially to the food and income security of many households. This study was aimed primarily at providing baseline information for understanding cocoyam production systems and management factors associated with cocoyam production system in the Lake Victoria crescent. A total of 270 survey responses, representing eight districts of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda collected during 2006 and 2007 were analysed. Results of the survey indicate that cocoyam cultivation is entrenched in the crop production systems in the East African region characterised by widespread, small-scale cocoyam growing within the wetlands under rain-fed conditions. Farmers grow the crop for increased food security and to supplement income. It is eaten by people of all ages and is particularly fed to weaned children, and usually sold at farm gate. However, farmers consider the current cocoyam yields as low and still declining due to declining soil fertility, unavailability of planting material and improved varieties, weeds, pests and diseases, limited land for expansion, and lack of deliberate research and extension effort to support cocoyam production, utilization and consumption. Consequently, production of cocoyam in East Africa is lagging behind that of other root and tuber crops. This report gives premise for interventions that can result, in the short run, in the improvement of cocoyam production and utilization, and harness its contribution to food and income security of farmers in East Africa.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mafabi, P. 2000. The role of wetland policies in the conservation of waterbirds: the case of Uganda. Ostrich 71 (1 & 2): 96–98.Wetlands in Uganda provide important habitats for birds including several endemic species. With the ever increasing pressure to convert wetlands to agricultural lands, several species have lost their habitats, while others have become pests due to their opportunistic behaviour in modified habitats. The causes of wetland drainage and conversion in Uganda include population growth, economic reforms and a severe lack of information, legislation and inter-sectoral co-ordination. Community uses of wetlands have clear impacts on waterbirds. At Busolwe (case study 1) there is competition for land-use between Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum and man. Priority community uses of wetlands include fish-farming, agro-forestry and bee-keeping. There is a need for integrating bird conservation into overall wetland conservation objectives, especially with the aim of maintaining conditions suitable for waterbird survival during critical stages of the life-cycle. National wetland policies can play an important role in the conservation of waterbirds, as learned from Uganda's experiences. Recommendations for integrating bird conservation into the national wetland policy framework (as well as into national, district and local level planning processes) are made, which point to close co-operation between stakeholders for better management and on improved appreciation of wetlands values.
    Ostrich - Journal of African Ornithology 03/2000; 71(1-2):96-98. DOI:10.1080/00306525.2000.9639880 · 0.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The density and species richness of bird communities in disturbed and undisturbed stands of papyrus Cyperuspapyrus were compared. Point counts, corrected for different probabilities of detection in different swamps, suggested that the species richness of bird communities in stands of papyrus disturbed by burning, grazing or pollution was higher than in nearby stands that were not disturbed. However, there were fewer species and individuals of highly specialized birds or species characteristic of papyrus, in disturbed stands than in undisturbed swamps. At < 1 ha-1, the density of Papyrus Gonolek Laniariusmufumbiri in Ugandan swamps was, for example, significantly lower in polluted and burnt sites than in undisturbed papyrus where up to 13 ha-1 were recorded in the centre of swamps. White-winged Swamp Warbler Bradypteruscarpalis was only recorded in undisturbed papyrus. In the papyrus that fringes Lake Naivasha in Kenya, outside the geographical range of species restricted to papyrus, disturbance in the form of grazing selects against species classified as swamp-reliant. Species classified as generalist users of papyrus were much less sensitive to disturbance than specialists. The density of swamp specialists was also lower near the edge of swamps, where total species richness was higher. These results are discussed in relation to conservation management of papyrus swamps in East Africa.
    Bird Conservation International 01/2003; 13(4):283-297. DOI:10.1017/S0959270903003216 · 1.55 Impact Factor
  • The determination and analysis of constraints in resource use efficiency in multiple cropping systems by small-holder farmers in Ebonyi State. . 58-69.