New maize variety promises better harvest

Saturday September 3 2016

A maize farmer in Uasin Gishu County explains a point to officials.

A maize farmer in Uasin Gishu County explains a point to officials during a fact finding mission in his farm, on food security in the county. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BRIAN OKINDA
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A new maize variety that is quick-maturing and capable of withstanding high heat and water stress environments while still giving bountiful returns has been launched.

The new SC Sungura 301 maize variety was launched by AgriSeed Co Ltd.

With the current erratic weather pattern and rise in diseases, AgriSeed Co Ltd noted the new product is what farmers need.

Head of Marketing Wellingtone Wasike observed that besides practices like crop rotation to curb spread of the diseases, farmers need quality seeds.

Other maize varieties supplied by the company include SC Duma 43, SC Punda Milia 53, SC Simba 61, SC Punda Milia 529, SC Twiga 81 and SC Tembo 73.

“The changing and unpredictable weather patterns and the emerging crop pests and diseases have made Kenyan farmers a worried lot. As seed producers, we need to ease their burden through the development of quality products.”

Head smut and Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND) are among diseases that are causing untold suffering to farmers.

“We also breed rust tolerant varieties of soya named SC Saga and SC Salama. The two possess a myriad of benefits to the farmer. They improve the fertility of the soil, are highly nutritious, they fetch high prices in the market, they are economically viable and can be grown using limited resources,” said Wasike.