Hybrid seed use yet to bear fruit

Business Daily Kenya: 

Maize seeds.

Nicholas Waitathu @PeopleDailyKe

Kenya’s food production will be still low despite the increasing adoption of hybrid seed varieties.

Agriculture Principal secretary Richard Lesiyampe says farmers are currently exposed to more than 250 maize hybrid varieties.

However, he said farmers have not realised the expected gain because of use of inputs along with also poor agronomic practices. “Adoption of improved upon seed varieties will be recognised as a key driver in improving productivity along with also addressing food security.

however farmers are not using inputs, mainly fertiliser, adequately thus leading to low food production,” said Lesiyampe.

“Kenya farmers depend on both formal along with also informal seed systems, with the latter accounting for over 80 per cent of total seed used inside the country along with also even a much higher percentage in arid along with also semi-arid lands.

Increasing productivity of modest along with also medium scale farmers requires a well-functioning seed system,” he added.

The PS made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by the ministry’s officer in charge of traditional high value crops, Mary Karanja, during a conference organised by the Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy along with also Development at a Nairobi hotel.

Tegemeo Institute was releasing preliminary findings of a research on enhancing smallholder productivity in Kenya.

Lesiyampe said the Kenya seed requirement for maize alone will be about 35,000 tonnes per annum, which the local production companies are able to meet.

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Hybrid seed use yet to bear fruit

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