Characterising local and improved varieties of okra for agronomic performance in central Uganda
Irachaa, Eveline Logi
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n Uganda, okra production has largely been based on landraces but the productivity of these landraces is poor, making the crop less profitable for farmers. In the recent past however, improved okra varieties have been introduced on the market and farmers are urged to grow them. However, little is known about their performance in Central Uganda. Therefore, the objective of this study was to contribute to the improvement of Okra production in Uganda by identifying superior okra varieties. Five Okra varieties (Pusa Suwani, Maha F1, Clemson 4, Local 1 and Local 2) were planted on 14th May 2021, in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK). The crops were weeded twice using a hand hoe and harvested by hands at harvest maturity. Data were collected on ten (10) agronomic parameters and all were significantly influenced by variety. Local 1 and Local 2 had superior agronomic traits including fruit yield. Improved varieties had significantly lower leaf area index compared to local varieties. It is therefore recommended that (i) the study be repeated for at least 2 more seasons to ensure that findings are consistent, (ii) studies be done determine optimum plant population for the improved varieties, and (iii) Local 1 and Local 2 varieties be recommended in the meantime to farmers for production.