how to grow maize in Kenya

This is the definitive guide on how to grow maize in Kenya with all the details and all your questions answered on maize farming. Some of the main questions we intend to answer on this guide regarding maize farming in Kenya include;

  • How many bags of maize can 1 acre of land produce
  • How long does maize take to mature
  • Pests and diseases affecting maize
  • The best fertilizer to grow maize
  • How to grow maize
  • Cost of 90 Kg of maize in Kenya
  • Cost of planting an acre of maize in Kenya
  • Where is the market for maize in Kenya

HOW TO GROW MAIZE IN KENYA

PLANTING

Maize is a cereal and is the staple food to Kenyans who likes consuming ugali, a food made using ground maize or maize flour. Maize also has a lot of various uses such as making of cooking oil, preparing silage and maize flour and can also be used in making of porridge.

Before growing of maize you should consider the following ecological conditions; evenly distributed rainfall especially during the planting and flowering phase, temperature needed will determine the rate of maturity higher temperatures favors the faster maturity of maize plantation, maize plantation also tolerates a wide variety of soil but a well-drained and fertile soil is preferred for maximum production. The choice of seed for production of maize varies with the altitude and rainfall conditions.

Land preparation is done by ploughing the land and after that harrowing is done to turn the soil into fine tilt. Planting of maize is now done 2 weeks after the onset of rain but in lowlands planting of maize is done before the onset of rain.

Planting is done mechanically using a planter especially in large areas of land. The planter will automatically plant with specified amount of seeds and fertilizers which is mostly DAP fertilizer.

When planting manually, use 50kg of DAP fertilizer per acre with seed rate of 1 to 2 seeds per hole, keep in mind that holes should be dug uniformly on straight lines. DAP fertilizer aid sin root development. After 3 to four weeks after planting when the maize crops are 1.5 feet high topdressing is done with CAN. CAN is placed on the roots of each plant in a minimum handful amount. In areas of high rainfall top dressing can be done twice CAN is used in the rate of 50kg per acre. UREA nitrogenous fertilizer can also be used

WEEDING

Weeds can grow with maize plantation hence competing for nutrients. Weeding can be done manually or using herbicides which will suppress the growth of weeds and allow maize plantation to grow. Weeds should be controlled on early stage of maize growth.

Various pests and diseases might also affect the maize plantation this can be controlled by use of pesticides and insecticides. The main pests and diseases that always affect maize include;

PESTS

  • Fall army worm
  • Stalk borer
  • Maize aphids
  • Cut worms

Diseases

  • Maize lethal necrosis disease
  • Maize smut
  • Northern leaf blight

Harvesting of maize

Maize harvesting period varies according to variety of maize with the short period variety being harvested after the maturity period of 3 to 4 months while other varieties maturing at 10 months. Maize can be harvested while still green or dried. Proper drying and storage of matured maize cereals is advisable. Before storage, maize cereals should be treated to prevent storage pests and increase shelf life.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON HOW TO GROW MAIZE

  • How many bags of maize can 1 acre of land produce

In Kenya with proper farm management, an acre of maize plantation can produce 30 bags of maize with 90kgs of each and every bag.

  • Cost of 90 Kg of maize in Kenya

In Kenya with proper farm management an acre of maize plantation can produce 30 bags of maize with 90kgs of each and every bag. Price for 90kg of maize varies according to availability and period of marketing mostly 90kg of maize goes for 2500 to 3300kshs but at times it can drop to 2300kshs per 90kg.

  • Cost of planting an acre of maize in Kenya

To determine the cost of planting an acre of maize in Kenya calculate the amount of seeds needed per acre, amount of fertilizers to be used,  periodical maintenance like topdressing, weeding, pest and diseases control, harvesting, labor and transport. This is the blueprint for calculating the cost.

  • Where is the market for maize in Kenya

There are various market for maize farmers to choose from. Maize can be sold to cereals board, open air market, milling factories and institutions like schools offers ready market

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