Assessment of the use and impact of Stylosanthes guianensis CIAT 184 in China

The report provides a comprehensive assessment of the use and impact of Stylosanthes guianesis CIAT 184 in South China, which was introduced there in 1982 through the IDRC supported international network on tropical pastures (RIEPT) coordinated by in CIAT. It provides a background to animal production in China, examines current use of the legume for seed and meal production, and in pastures; various aspects of institutional capacity; linkages between institutions; implications of the findings; and suggestions for follow-up. The expanding use of this germplasm is impressive especially in Guangdong and Hainan provinces, but also elsewhere to seven other provinces, with areas planted in 1993 in the Guangdong province estimated at 5200 ha for the new cultivar CIAT 184 and 24,000 ha of the traditional variety Graham. The legume is used (a) as a monoculture crop (for seed or meal production), (b) as a cover crop in plantations eg rubber and mangoes, and (c) in pasture with grasses. The average forage yield is 87.34 MT/ha/yr of fresh material under a cutting regime of four times per year and seed production 375 kg/ha based on an annual harvest. The information base is rather weak but it is estimated that a total of 113 000 ha (4.7% of the farm land of Guangdong province) are grown to Stylos. This involves a total of about 108 000 farming families. Persistence is not clear but there is evidence of damage by low temperatures in Northern Guangdong. In Guangdong province the major advantage of Ciat 184 is a higher production (about 20 %) This is possibly related to later flowering than Graham. This nevertheless limits seed production in Guangdong, thus requiring introduction from Hainan island (The most tropical region of China). This need for specialization has been a limitation on the diffusion in Guangdong and other regions given the existing infrastructure for seed trade. In Hainan the major advantage besides the good market for seed is the higher anthracnose tolerance. The potential for further expanding its use is very promising.