Agriculture

Seed company rolls out maize variety for arid and semi-arid areas

Kenya - The East Africa Seed Company has rolled out a drought-resistant maize variety which takes 90 days to mature. The new maize variety, Tosheka, is targeting the semi-arid areas of Eastern and North-Eastern but can also do well in high altitude areas which concentrate on tea and coffee farming.According to Solomon Mugambi, an agronomist in Mt Kenya region, the maize breed should be planted during the short rains. "It does exemplary well with minimal rainfall and can sustain itself under harsh climate conditions," he said.

The agronomist was speaking to farmers drawn from the counties of Nyeri, Nyandarua, Murang'a, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, Embu, Taita Taveta and Garissa during the Annual Farmers' Day at the Wambugu Farmers Training Centre in Nyeri.

He said the maize breed was double combed and its average production was between 25-30 bags of maize per acre, thus capable of earning commercial farmers a good profit.

"We are advising farmers to look for high yielding crops because we have suffered crop failures prompted by the erratic weather conditions in most parts of the country," said Mugambi.

The maize variety will be available to farmers for planting at the start of short rains in October.