How to grow maize in Kenya from planting to marketing.

Introduction.

Maize is the staple food in Kenya. This is amongst the best crops grown in Kenya with more output. The rising population has really increased its demand. Over the years, many farmers have shifted to other short term crops. This may be due to low expectations of the yields.

Reasons for poor yield.

1.Pests and diseases.

2.Poor timing.

3. Amount of fertilizer.

4. Inadequate nutrients in the soil.

Required input for an acre of land:

For an acre of land, a farmer has to have enough capital. The approximate amount of money required by a farmer should be sh.35,000.

Varieties commonly grown in Kenya.

1.Hybrid.

2. Katumani.

3.Panner.

Commonly grown areas.

1.Uasin-Gishu

2.Trans-nzoia.

3.Bungoma.

4.Busia.

Common pests and diseases.

1.Pests.

(a). Fall armyworm.

(b).Stalk borer.

(c). Maize aphids.

2.Diseases.

(a).Maize smut.

(b).Leaf blight.

Planting.

Step 1.

Ensure that you have ploughed your land properly to avoid the weeds from growing. This should be done earlier before the onset of rain.

Step 2.

Make holes on your land. Consider the topography of the land. When the land is slopping, make holes across.

Step 3.

Place 2 seeds on each hole. Add DAP fertilizer at the rate of 2 table spoon on each hole. Cover the holes.

Weeding.

Weeding should be done regularly to minimize competition for available water and nutrients in the soil by weeds.

You can use herbikill.

Pests and diseases.

Pests like aphids suck sap from the maize plants. This should be sprayed earlier to avoid losses.You can use Dudutrin.This mostly affects the plant during the flowering season.

Flowering.

Use foliar at the rate of 20 to 40 ml per 20 litre to enhance the chlorophyll.This will give the maize plant high ability to produce more yield.

Harvesting and storage.

Maize mature in 5 months time. Different varieties matures at different times. Katumani takes 3 months to mature.

Before you store your maize, it is highly recommended that you treat you grains. You can use actelic or a treated gunny bags.

Marketing.

Marketing is done both domestically and outside Kenya. Once you have harvested your maize, It is really advisable that you sell before the prices depreciate.The price of 90 kg of maize is 4900 when harvested.

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