Maize farming in Kenya is the backbone of food security in this 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 lethal Necrosis 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 2022. 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 Kenya.
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 2022. 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