African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Full Length Research Paper

Changes in agro-biodiversity as a result of sugarcane farming in mumias division, western Kenya

Nelly Nambande Masayi1* and Godfrey Wafula Netondo2
1School of Environment and Earth Sciences, Maseno University, P. O. Box 333- 40105 Maseno, Kenya. 2Department of Botany and Horticulture, Faculty of Science, Maseno University, P. O. Box 333- 40105 Maseno, Kenya.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 25 March 2013
  •  Published: 26 July 2013


Sugarcane farming is a monocultural land use practice which often leads to reduction in agro-biodiversity. In Mumias division sugarcane is cultivated under small scale, large scale and nuclear estate. The study was carried out in Mumias division of western Kenya where 68% of the land is under commercial sugarcane cultivation while 32% is left for subsistence agriculture and other uses. The objectives of the study were to identify indigenous crops grown in Mumias division before the introduction of commercial sugarcane farming and to assess the effects of commercial sugarcane farming on indigenous crops. Ninety respondents were purposively selected. Data was collected using questionnaires, focus group discussion and interviews. Secondary data were obtained from documented materials. Data was analysed using means and percentages and was presented through discussions, tables and figures. With the introduction of commercial sugarcane farming in the 1970s, the land under indigenous crops declined. The research also established that sugarcane farming did not have an effect in the cultivation of groundnuts and bambara groundnuts. Our results imply that sugarcane farming is a major contributor to agro-biodiversity erosion. The results are expected to sensitize ministry of agriculture on the importance of good agricultural practices that can safeguard agro-biodiversity.


Key words: Agro- biodiversity, monoculture, indigenous crops.