Effects of storage methods and seasons on seed quality of jute mallow morphotypes (Corchorus olitorius) in Siaya and Kakamega counties, Kenya

  • FNW Maina
  • LS Gohole
  • RM Muasya
Keywords: jute mallow, seed vigour, seed viability, storage methods, Corchorusolitorius


Jute mallow is an important source of nutrients, income and traditional medicine in
Kenya. It is extensively grown and consumed in Western Kenya. However, its
production is constrained by lack of quality seeds due to varied farmers’ agronomic and
postharvest practices. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of storage
methods on seed quality of jute mallow in Western Kenya. Seeds of two morphotypes
of C. olitorius(with 70% and above germination)were stored in clay pots, transparent
plastic jars, brown paper bags and polythene bags at room temperature in Kakamega
and Siaya Counties. Seeds were also stored in a freezer at Chepkoilel campus in Eldoret
at -20C. In Kakamega County, average room temperature was 230C and relative
humidity was 85% during the storage period of May to July 2006. In Siaya County, the
average room temperature was 250C and relative humidity was 80% during the same
period. Between December and February 2006, the average room temperature was
260C while relative humidity was 80% in Kakamega County. In Siaya County, the
average temperature was 280C and relative humidity 65% for the same period. Storage
duration was 90 days, which is the length of time farmers in the study areas store jute
mallow seeds to avoid seed dormancy. Seed viability and vigourof the seeds was
determined. Data obtained were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Ttests
using Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) programme. Season of growth and
storage methods influenced the seed quality. Seeds stored in clay pots, brown paper
bags, plastic transparent jars and freezer had higher seed quality than those stored in
polythene bags. Even though there was varied response to different storage methods,
generally it was recommended that in order to obtain high quality seeds, farmers should
store jute mallow seeds in clay pots or brown paper bags or plastic transparent jars or

Key words: jute mallow, seed vigour, seed viability, storage methods, Corchorusolitorius


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358