By Benson Rioba
Farmers in Makueni County are expecting a bumper harvest from a new variety of maize developed by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre.
The Centre’s chief scientists Dr. Stephen Mugo says the new variety is drought tolerant and has been highly beneficial to farmers in arid and semi arid areas where production has improved.
With the recent drought that has ravaged many parts of the country leaving thousands facing starvation due to failing crops, the drought tolerant seed varieties developed by the KALRO in conjunction with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre is a welcome boost to many farmers in the country.
Farmers are now optimistic that their farming ventures will this time round bare fruits as the new drought tolerant maize is showing promise of a bumper harvest.
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre chief scientist Dr Stephen Mugo says the new maize variety adds no extra production costs as farmers use the same amount of fertilizer and manure as in the previous varieties.
The KALRO scientist Dr. Murenga Mwimali says the new seed is part of the 250 new seed varieties developed by the organization to increase productivity.
This year, KALRO is expected to release more improved seed varieties which are currently on trial.