March 09, 2015

09/03/2015: Disease hits Kenya maize expectations

Kenya’s maize growing areas registered a 10 percent decline during the long rains season of March to May as Maize Lethal Necrotic Disease (MLND) affected the crop, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture said last week, according to East African Business Week.

“An assessment showed a reduction in maize grown by about 10 percent largely due to effects of MLND,” Sicily Kariuki, the Principal Secretary said in an e-mailed statement.

“Hectares fell to 1.1 million from 1.19 million in 2013. About 163,450 hectares of maize was affected by MLND resulting in an estimated loss of 1,035,420 bags,” she said.

“Lethal Necrotic Disease was reported in mainly in Narok, Bomet, Nyamira, Nakuru Counties,” Kariuki said, with low incidences reported in Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Transzoia, Homa Bay, Kericho, Migori, Kirinyaga and Nyandarua.

“During the long rains, 29 million bags of maize were realised,” she said.

“While the country had targeted 760,000 ha to produce at least 13.5 million bags during the short rains of September to November, but latest field reports indicate that the 2014 short rains were not reliable in some parts of the country such as Central, Eastern, North Eastern and parts of the Coastal regions,” Kariuki said.

“At the moment, an assessment to establish the exact impact of the short rains is being carried out,” said Kariuki.

Read more HERE.

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