Tropical Grasslands (2003) Volume 37, 227–238

Adoption of forage legumes: the case of Desmodium intortum and Calliandra calothyrsus in central Kenya


1 Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Nairobi, Kenya
2 World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya


The benefits of integrating legumes into napier-based fodder systems for smallholder dairy systems in Kenya have been demonstrated. A case study is presented on recent activities to introduce D. intortum cv. Greenleaf and Calliandra callothyrsus in Kenya and their contribution to DM yields of fodder crops and animal performance. Experience with the participatory introduction of herbaceous and shrubby legumes into farming systems and factors affecting adoption of the legumes and methods used in an attempt to overcome constraints are discussed. Availability of planting material and ease of propagation were critical issues that needed to be addressed before farmers would adopt the technologies. Participatory development and evaluation of forage legume technology may be the key to improving adoption of forage legumes amongst smallholder farmers in central Kenya.

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