Embrace Improved Maize Varieties for Kenya's Prosperity
Research Summary and Technology
The use of fall armyworm (FAW) tolerant improved maize varieties holds the key to enhancing maize productivity in Kenya. The destructive impact of FAW on maize production has led to reduced availability and affordability of quality food. Resorting to pesticides for control has resulted in adverse effects on human health and the environment, escalating the cost of maize cultivation and lowering yields, causing maize prices to soar. However, the introduction of FAW tolerant maize varieties brings hope to farmers by minimizing pesticide use, boosting productivity, ensuring access to uncontaminated food and feed free from aflatoxins, increasing income, and promoting a more affordable cost of living. These varieties, which are currently unavailable in the Kenyan market, have been successfully tested and preferred by farmers across various regions. Their exceptional performance, along with the characteristics of flint-like grains, high grain weight, flour density, and sweet taste, makes them even more appealing. Moreover, the stalks are suitable for silage making, and their commercial use is expected to significantly reduce ear damage and aflatoxin contamination while increasing foliage, further benefiting the maize industry and food security in the country.
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