Increase Acreage Under Maize For Maximum Gains

Farmers have been urged to increase the acreage of maize during the ongoing planting season to meet the high demand locally.

The Nakuru County Crops Officer, Fredrick Owino said they were concerned that over the years, farmers have gradually reduced the maize acreage and shifted to other crops such as potatoes and horticulture, a move that has made the country a net importer of maize.

Owino said the claim by many farmers that the crop fetches less money in the market was not entirely true since right now a bag of maize is going for Sh4000 in the local market and yet the demand is not being met.

“Our farmers’ tend to produce much less per acre, some as little as ten sacks, due to poor planting and management of the crop, while farmers in the neighbouring countries harvest between 30 to 40 bags per acreage,’’ he stated.

He however commended the few farmers who have constantly worked closely with extension officers and have steadily increased their production from 15 sacks to 20 and some have even achieved the minimum expected per acreage, which is 30 sacks.

The Crops Officer said that the weather patterns were promising a good year with sufficient rainfall, which favours maize farming.

He added that maize and maize products still remain the staple food in Kenya and on almost all dining tables throughout the country the major meal consumed is ugali.

Owino said crops such as bananas and potatoes were still considered as less significant meals and were mainly consumed by children or at lunchtime.



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