Study on Current Production and Utilization Status and Further Prospects of Oats (Avena sativa) in Mixed Farming Systems of the Central Highland Areas of Ethiopia

Gezahagn Kebede


The study was conducted to generate information for detailed understanding of Oats (Avena sativa) production and utilization in the area thereby to outline supportive evidences as basic decision tools for future uses of the crop in North Shoa zone of the Oromiya Regional State of Ethiopia. The study was undertaken in three phases with the first phase aiming at assessment and analysis of the existing Oats production and utilization systems followed by launching possible intervention options and scaling up of the feasible intervention in the third phase. The overall history of Oats production and utilization in the study areas was assessed using both primary and secondary sources of information. The result indicated that rough estimate of farm households who grow Oats for food and/or feed in the zone is close to 20,748 out of the total 216,000 farm households. Though, the area covered with Oats production was very large, the grain productivity was very low because the farmers used only the forage type of Oats for both feed and food purposes. During the second phase, two forage types and two grain types of Oats varieties with local check were selected to evaluate their agronomic performances under farmers field conditions. The result showed that the selected Oats varieties varied significantly (P<0.05) for plant height, DM yield and seed yield across locations and years. The tested Oats varieties showed that yield and yield component advantage in terms of vigor (11.1 and 21.2%), plant height (15.4 and 19.2%), DM yield (11.8 and 50.0%) and seed yield (17.0 and 81.3%) was recorded at Girar-Jarso when compared to Jida and Wuchale respectively. The combined analysis showed that Lampton variety gave the highest DM yield (6.2 t ha-1) followed by CI-8237 (5.9 t ha-1) while the lowest DM yield (3.9 t ha-1) was recorded for local variety. The analysis also indicated that Lampton and CI-8237 Oats varieties gave 59.0 and 51.3% DM yield advantage over the local variety. The combined analysis indicated that Coker SR res 80SA130 variety produced the highest seed yield (28.1 qt ha-1) followed by SRCPX80Ab2252 variety (23.2 qt ha-1) over locations and years. The result showed that Coker SRres80 SA130 and SRCPX80Ab2252 varieties showed 57.0 and 29.6% seed yield advantage over the local variety over locations and years respectively. Cultivation of Oats was limited/banned by both zonal and regional officials especially for grain production since 2012 cropping season. Due to this inconvenient situation, seed multiplication and scaling up activities were discontinued. Despite that, Lampton and Coker SRres80SA130 varieties were recommended for forage and grain production purpose respectively. Therefore, the observed controversial issues with regard to Oats production and utilization should be resolved with all concerned bodies in order to fix its future use in the study areas.


forage type; grain type; oats varieties; production; utilization; yields


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