Commodities

Farmers urged to take up new maize seed varieties

Perkerra

Maize plantation. FILE PHOTO | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • Maize farmers in Kenya have been urged to adopt new high-yield varieties of seeds to boost their crop production.
  • Seed Trades Association of Kenya chairperson Kassim Owino said some farmers, especially in the main grain basket of Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia are stuck with the decade-old varieties of seed.

Maize farmers in Kenya have been urged to adopt new high-yield varieties of seeds to boost their crop production.

Seed Trades Association of Kenya chairperson Kassim Owino said some farmers, especially in the main grain basket of Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia are stuck with the decade-old varieties of seed such as Hybrid 614 despite dwindling crop yields.

“When you stick to the old variety, it means that you will get lower yields from that breed. It is time that farmers embraced the new varieties to increase their productivity,” he said.

The use of old seed varieties is not unique to maize farmers alone. For instance, the average age for beans, cowpea, and sorghum in Kenya are 21, 20, and 41 years old respectively, according to research conducted by The African Seed Access Index.

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation recently released eight varieties resistant to maize lethal necrosis disease.

Kenya is a maize deficit country and normally relies on imports from Uganda and Tanzania to fill the deficit.