Maize

Use certified maize seed to increase your yields

This planting season, the choice of seed is very important. In rural farming areas, many farmers still plant traditional maize varieties that give very low yields. According to a study conducted by Egerton University’s Tegemeo Institute (Enhancing Small-holder Productivity in Kenya, 2016) findings show that maize yields have been declining at the rate of 10 per cent.

Harvest early to reduce aflatoxin contamination

Heavy rains at the time of maize harvesting have serious effects on the quality of maize. Some varieties of maize open their ears too early; if it starts raining, the water goes into the maize cob causing rotting. Pests also easily enter the maturing maize cob and destroy it before it is harvested.

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What to do when selecting maize seed

Isolate a small portion of land whenever you want to try a new maize variety. Plant and observe it and only go into full production when sure that the variety can do well in your region. This avoids the risk of planting new varieties without the full knowledge of their performance.

Maize seed can transmit Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLN)

Research has shown that maize seeds may contain the viruses that cause Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease and can transfer the disease through seeds to farms. This poses great danger to food security in the country and neighbouring countries.

Yellow maize is good for people and livestock

Although yellow maize is more nutritious than white maize, Kenyans consider it food for poor people since it is often brought into the country as relief food for starving people. Yet it can be a food option for people, even as it is used majorly for livestock. 

A new bag that protects grains from destructive pests

Like metal drum silos used for grain storage, the PICS bag is sealed tightly and pests in the grains cannot survive for long as they are deprived of oxygen. This presents an opporunity for farmers to prevent post harvest losses, particularly of grains.

Short season maize varieties that take around 4 months and less to mature

Farmers often ignore the short rains of between September to December yet it presents an opportunity to take advantage of the short season crops to boost their food reserves or build surplus for the market. The following are short season maize varieties that farmers can make use of.


 

                                          

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