Maize is one of the best crop grown in most parts of Kenya. The said crop is an important food source which is eaten in form of grains. It is also processed to offer various product which ranges from maize flour, used to make Kenya’s common meal ugali and porridge.
However, due to challenges, farmers have continuously experienced discouraging issues. Things may not be the same again with this crop considering many farmers have opted for sugarcane, tea, avocados, and dairy farming.
Unpredictable prices, post-harvest losses, the Lethal Maize Necrosis Disease (LMND), and fall army worms are among the issues that push maize farmers into other agricultural ventures. Maize farmers have always raised concerns over unpredictable prices and production costs that include planting, weeding, harvesting, transportation and storage as the key factors that negatively affect their profits.
Peter Kemboi a farmer from Ndalat ward in Nandi County who has turned to dairy farming gives a new story of profitable farming. This is after Kemboi turned maize as silage for his livestock.
“I have decided to venture into dairy farming after realizing it’s more profitable compared to maize. It will take more time for maize to be harvested and preparation is costly but yields turn low,” the youthful farmer told Kenyan Herald.com.
It’s now proving that as time goes we are going to experience a lot of changes in areas which mostly use to grow maize.
David Sitienei was forced to turn to sugarcane farmingafter facing a lot of challenges in maize farming. He explains how things have changed since he began sugarcane farming.
“I can now do a lot when I harvest sugarcane compare to maize, all this time I have been unable to meet my target whenever I planed. Now l am seeing a lot of improvement in sugarcane. I have now built a new house which l couldn’t manage all this time during maize farming,” he narrated.
In Kenya, maize and cereal production has been on the decline in the recent years, with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimating that aggregate cereal production in 2019 stood at 4 million tonnes, about 17 percent less than the previous year and 5 percent below the average of the previous five years.