Kenya may soon end food insecurity in the country after new maize crop seed varieties; Maseno EH10, EH11 and EH14 which are resistance to striga weed are introduced and made available to maize crop farmers all over the country.
Speaking to the press at Maseno university tests farms section, the seeds varieties developer and a professor in agricultural department at Maseno University, Prof. Mathews Dida who began his seed development research at the university in the year 2002, a process that took him 10 years to complete, said that the new maize crop varieties, Maseno EH10 which is an hybrid, Maseno EH11, Maseno EH12 and Maseno EH14 are maize varieties which have the capability to suppress striga weeds that has given farmers sleepless nights.
Prof. Dida also said that the varieties take shorter period of time to maturity, produces higher yield of 10 tons per hectare and have the capability to produce own chemicals that attracts birds and wasp that feed on the worms and pests that may destroy crops.
Prof. Dida further said that he not only developed these maize seeds varieties but also developed finger millets, Maseno 60 D and cassava seeds which have the same characteristics as the maize seed and are sweeter in taste as compared to other normal varieties.
He lauded the government of Kenya through National Council For Science and Technology (NACOSTE) and Land ‘O’ Lakes for intervening to give support during the process of developing and promotion of the seeds.
Prof. Dida also said that they are currently linking up with Kenya Seed Company and in the process to avail the seed varieties in the market by early next year and urged farmers to make sure they get access to the new seeds once they are in the market to enhance higher yielding in their food crops production.
He also urged World Food Programs (WFP) and National Government of Kenya to give them more support through donation of Funds so that they can develop new seeds that are resistance to crop pests and diseases and can do well in semi-arid Africa and reduce food insecurity, that’s a threat in African continent and some parts of the world.