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Best wheat varieties for the dry areas of Kenya

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Wheat Varieties Duma and Ngamia have been developed by the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) for the dry areas of Kenya.

The varieties can be grown in areas with low rainfall with short growing periods like lower Narok, Kajiado, Naivasha, Mogotio and Machakos. Duma and Ngamia mature early and can yield up to 9 bags per acre. They have good resistance to rust diseases.

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Wheat is a type of grass cultivated for its seed. It is a cereal grain which is a staple food in most African countries. The crop is the second most important cereal grain after maize in Kenya.

Duma wheat variety with a high disease resistance. PHOTO/JAPHET RUTO, FARMBIZ AFRICA

For best yields prepare land early, as soon as there is no more straw to graze.  Use good quality seed that is disease free, of high germination and free from weeds and dirt. Buy your seed from trusted seed shops and plant early at the onset of rains. Use a wheat planter or plant by broadcasting.

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If a planter is used, use l bag (50 kg) of seed per acre. If planting is by broadcasting, mix 1.5 bags of seed per acre with fertilizer and cover by giving a light harrowing. Use 1 bag (50 kg) of DAP fertilizer per acre if you are using a wheat planter and 1.5 bags if you are planting by broadcasting.  Apply 12 wheelbarrows of farmyard manure per acre if it is available.

READ ALSO:Narok farmers urged to store wheat until prices rise

When planting by broadcasting use 1.5 bags per acre of DAP & seed. Ensure your land is well prepared and use clean seed to reduce weed problems. If necessary, apply a recommended herbicide like Buctril MC at the rate of 4 knapsack sprayers per acre. To each knapsack filled with water add 150 ml of herbicide. Apply Buctril MC when the crop has 4 to 6 leaves.

There is good disease resistance in these two varieties. Look out for attack by Russian wheat aphid. This is a small greenish insect whose damage includes purple or yellow lines on the leaves, curled leaves or bent heads.

Recommended pesticides include:


Knapsacks per acre

Amount in 20L Knapsack


50 ml



125 ml



100 ml



Additional information obtained from KALRO Website

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