Economic evaluation of legume-finger millet rotations in Pallisa District
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Finger millet (Eleusine coracana) is among the major food crops in Uganda but due to population pressure on land, soils have become exhausted leading to low productivity of millet. Legume-based soil fertility management is within the long tradition of crop rotation practiced in the Teso farming system. Field experiments were conducted in Pallisa District using several legumes in rotation with finger millet in fields of high and low fertility in different landscape positions that is upper, middle and lower landscape positions with and without phosphorus fertilizer application over a period of 3 seasons in order to determine which legume –Finger millet rotations in combination with fertilizer application improve the soil fertility and production of finger millet. However, the main challenge lies in determining which legume finger millet rotations are more profitable. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the profitability of different legume-millet rotations, with and without phosphorous application grown on high and low soil fertility regimes in Pallisa District. Results showed that a rotation of legumes with finger millet increases gross margin in good and poor soil fields. The costs involved in the purchase and application of fertilizers surpass the cost of producing finger millet in any system in good and poor soil types. In all the rotations both in the good fields and the poor fields application of fertilizer was not profitable in the production of legume biomass. In the good soil type we found that rotation of millet and mucuna to be the only profitable rotation. Therefore we recommend a rotation of mucuna and finger millet in the good soil types and integrated approach to poor fields, leguminous rotation alone cannot be the solution.