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Farmer reaps from maize crop

By WILLIES MWANIKI
Susan Njeri at her maize farm at Kabazi, Nakuru that produces 30 bags per season from three-quarters of an acre. PHOTO: WILLIES MWANIKI. 

 

As farmers across the country ditch maize farming, Susan Njeri still has the willingness to keep on with it in her three quarters acre land in Kabazi, Nakuru County. She has practiced maize farming for over ten years, intercropping with beans and potatoes and vows to keep on.

“I harvest not less than thirty bags of maize per season, and I am very comfortable with it, considering the size of the land,” said Susan.

By the look at her well-fenced land, the condition of her mature maize waiting to dry to be harvested, you will concur with her statement of what she harvests. The maize crop has done so well where most of the plants have produced two maize combs per stem and of good size.

Susan learns more about maize farming by attending agriculture shows and exhibitions. She also consults agricultural officers and reads newspaper farming articles to gain more knowledge.

However, receiving such a plentiful harvest is not as easy. It requires the practical application of knowledge from various sources, tactics, and good decision making. Susan shared with us the procedures that she follows to attain such a good harvest. One of the significant determinants of good yield in maize farming is land preparation as she says.

“Land preparation is a key factor since the seeds need to find well-prepared soil to facilitate its growth. Therefore, you must prepare the land long enough before the rainy season begins to ensure the humus decomposes enriching the soil with nutrients.”

She also adds that weeding must be done at the right time to prevent the maize from being overpowered by the weeds. “I always ensure that I do the weeding twice to ensure there is no greater competition for nutrients by maize and weeds,” she says.

Another critical thing that Susan emphasized is the right choice of farm inputs, including the certified seeds, fertilisers, and top dressers. Susan told us that she buys seeds and fertilizers from approved dealers earlier before the season to ensure that she gets certified products at relatively reasonable prices before inflation.

“I prefer buying them earlier like three months before the season at relatively lower prices before the demand is higher, which leads to some inflation.”

She plants 10kgs of maize and applies three bags of 50kgs D.A.P fertilizer and two packs of 50kgs top dressers. “I apply 75 kilograms of D.A.P fertilizer during planting and apply the rest 75 kilograms immediately after the crop shoots. I put the second bunch of fertilizer when the crop shoots during the first weeding when crops are about ten inches.”

 

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