country. With Ugali, Mukimo, Muthokoi and Githeri being the meals on
most dinner tables, it is no wonder that the production of this precious
grain through maize farming in Kenya can barely keep up with the
demand. The government still imports tonnes of maize from neighboring
countries like Tanzania each year.
Maize lethalNecrosis is a disease that is slowly threatening maize production in the country. This disease that is the combination of two viruses is causing wilting and sweeping maize field all over the country by bringing havoc and confusion to farmers who practice maize farming in Kenya in 2019. Kari have however worked on a kind that will be resistant to this deadly disease.
|Maize farming in Kenya|
Maize farming in Kenya is
practised in Transzoia County, Uasin Gichu, Bungoma and parts of Rift Valley like Nakuru and Molo. This crop does the best in warm temperature
high rainfall areas with loamy well drained soil. In the recent past, the price of maize has tripled rising from 700 Kenyan Shillings a bag to an average of 3000 Kenyan Shillings.This change is particularly welcome given the fact that most maize varieties have only one season a year.
This has benefited most farmers especially the small scale maize farmers
who depend on it for their livelihood.
Depending on the location, land preparation usually
starts in late February in preparation for the early rains which come
from mid March. For maximum yield, plant to plant spacing should be 30cm
apart while the rows should be between 0.5 to 0.75 meters apart.
Treated hybrid seeds from Kenya seeds is used. There are different
varieties that do well in different areas. They come in different
colors, sizes and shapes. A farmer should do their research from the
other farmers to know the kind that performs the best in the area.
Weeding is done about a month after planting. It is good to start early so as
to prevent the young fragile seedlings from being overwhelmed by the
weeds. If you do not weed in time, they turn yellow and very weak.
|A healthy Maize stalk|
Depending on the rainfall levels, you might need to weed two or three times. The last weeding is done after top dressing just before the maize stalks flower. This ensures that the plants are
strong and green and the cob that comes out is big and healthy. This
will ultimately increase the profits realized from maize farming in
Maize planted in April is green and ready by mid-September. While some farmers prefer to sell the green maize, others
prefer to wait for it to dry. Maize is dry and ready for harvesting in
most parts of the country by December. The sunny weather is perfect
since maize can rot and grow toxic molds when exposed to moisture.
The high supply during harvest time makes the prices a little low. For
those who want to reap higher profits from maize farming, the maize is
dried and stored to be sold in May the following year when the prices
are at their highest.
Are you practicing maize farming in Kenya in 2019. Have we left out a tip you feel needs to be added? Let us know in the comments section below.
See Also: Maize Lethal Necrosis in Kenya