Kenya Seed Company advises maize farmers to start planting

Abel Kipsang who scored ''A'' of 82 points helped his family to plant maize at their rural home Kapkwis village in Uasin Gishu county on April,24,2022. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

Maize farmers have been advised to start planting within the next two weeks to ensure a bumper harvest at the end of the season.

Kenya Seed Company (KSC) Managing Director Sammy Chepsiror said the prevailing weather condition is conducive for planting and urged farmers to move with speed before heavy rains start.

"Time is of essence for our farmers. Planting within the next fortnight will ensure good production since current conditions will facilitate proper seed germination and growth, hence leading to bumper harvest at the end of the season, later in the year,” said Chepsiror.

Kenya faces a significant demand for quality maize seeds, with the KSC boss estimating the national requirement to be around 50 million kilos.

Chepsiror said, KSC has put in place measures to meet the demand. "We intend to cultivate 41,000 acres of land this season for seed production," he said.

"Based on our projections, this will translate to a harvest of approximately 41 million kilos of maize seeds, exceeding 80 per cent of the national demand," he added.

The KSC boss said the initiative will bolster Kenya's food security. With a reliable supply of high-quality maize seeds, farmers can get high yield to ensure food security.

However, Chepsiror acknowledged a persistent challenge of counterfeit seeds in the market. "Fake seeds can devastate a farmer's efforts. To combat this, KSC is working hand-in-hand with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) and security agencies," he said.

He said government agencies have put in place measures to protect farmers from falling prey to fraudulent seed vendors.

"Kephis plays a critical role in ensuring seed quality through rigorous testing and certification processes," he explained.

"We are collaborating with security forces to crack down on the distribution and sale of counterfeit seeds. This multi-pronged approach will safeguard farmers' investments and guarantee access to genuine, high-yielding seeds," he added.

A farmer in Kwanza constituency Moses Chelelgo lauded KSC for being proactive.

"KSC's leadership in advocating for timely planting and combating fake seeds is appropriate. As farmers, we will actively disseminate information to our members and encourage them to take advantage of this crucial planting window," said Chelelgo.

Edward Wasike, an economist emphasized the economic significance of KSC's supply of quality seeds and advise to farmers.

"A successful planting season will translate to increased agricultural output. This not only strengthens our food security but also enables farmers realise better earnings thus boosting national economic growth,” stated Wasike.

"By seizing this opportune moment and capitalizing on KSC's commitment to quality seeds, farmers have the potential to plant and realize bountiful harvests after the season,” he added.

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