Farmers in semi-arid, but humid regions targeting the green maize market can harvest their produce in 75 days by planting Tego 46, a hybrid seed from Olerai Seeds Limited.
Osman Jumbe, the company’s representative in the Kenyan Coast region said the variety requires moisture during planting and flowering.
“Tego 46 has a sweet taste when green; therefore, it is appropriate for roasting and boiling. Today is the 75th day since the maize you see behind me was planted. That is how quickly the maize matures,” he said.
Osman Jumbe with the fresh green tego46 hybrid maize variety. Photo/courtesy
In as much as it does not frequently rain at the Coast, the humidity from the Indian Ocean cools the leaves at night.
It also makes the ground wet. The little moisture available sustains the maize after germination to harvesting, although at flowering more of it is required to fill the cobs.
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In 90-100 days, the maize is dry for harvesting. If the moisture is sufficient enough, each stalk can give two maize cobs.
From one acre, a farmer can harvest 35- 40 bags, which makes it one of the most appropriate varieties for short season rain regions, he said.
At the same time, it is tolerant to weevil attack during storage, therefore, a good choice for prolonged storage.
Coast region rains patterns are highly unpredictable; therefore, maize maturing is six to eight months cannot do well.
A two kilogram packet of certified seeds for planting costs Sh400.
Maize production decreased by 6.3 per cent from 37.8m bags in 2016 to 35.4m bags in 2017 according to the 2018 economic survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
This was mainly attributed to drought experienced in most parts of the country which resulted in lower yields.
The quantity of maize sold continued to decline for the second year, reducing by 10 per cent from 265.8 thousand tonnes in 2016 to 239.2 thousand tonnes in 2017.