Kenya Meteorological Services (KMS) has advised Makueni farmers to plant drought resistant crops owing to the low rainfall during the ongoing short rains season.
Speaking to KNA on phone, Makueni Director of Meteorological Department, Mr Kimaita Bundi, urged the farmers to plant the recommended varieties of maize, beans, green grams and sorghum.
“I recommend these drought resistant crops in line with the seasonal weather advisory for the October to December season issued by KMS for Makueni County to enlighten farmers on planning agricultural activities,” said Bundi.
In the advisory, wards in the county have been clustered as Upper Agro ecological zoning (AEZ), Middle AEZ, and Lower AEZ depending on the rainfall expected.
The advisory states that the Upper AEZ includes Tulimani, Mbooni, Mukaa, Kaiti, Kilungu and Ilima wards and farmers in those areas have been urged to plant maize varieties Duma 41/43, DK 8031/8033, Pioneer P28, Pioneer 3253, and DH04 among others as well as green grams varieties; 26/KS20.
Furthermore, the Upper AEZ beans varieties are KAT X56, Nyota, KAT B9, KAT X69, GLP 2(Nyayo), GLP 77(Kakunzu) and sorghum types; Gadam sorghum and Serena/Serondo.
The advisory stated that the Middle AEZ constitutes: Kalamba, Mavindini, Kitise, Wote, Kisau/Kiteta, Tulimani, Kako/Waia, Kathonzweni, Kasikeu, Kiima, Kiu/Kalanzoni and Emali/Mulala wards and farmers were advised to plant maize types; Duma 41/ Duma 43 KDV 1/KDV4, local varieties (Sawa, Mituki, Haraka, Sungura), DH01/DH02, Kishindo, and DH04/DK 8031.
The beans varieties recommended are KAT B1 (Kathika), KAT X56(Kitui), GLP 92(Mwitemania), KAT B9, and Mwezi Mmoja.
On sorghum, farmers were advised to plant Seredo, Gadam , Kari mtama 1, Sila, and Seredo while that for green grams is N 26/ KS20 (Karembo), and Biashara.
Farmers in the lower AEZ that is constituted by Makindu, Kitise, Ivingoni/Nzambani, Kikumbulyu South, Kikumbulyu North, Thange, Nguumo, Nguu/Masumba, Masongaleni, and Mtito Andei wards are advised to plant same maize varieties as Upper AEZ zones. The beans types recommended are KAT B1 (Kathika) GLP 92, Sorghum types; Gadam and green gram types; N 26/ KS 20.
The director also advised farmers to practice water harvesting in earth dams, farm ponds, water tanks, and liaise with the department of Agriculture for suitable choices of crop varieties.
By Kevin Maina and Ronald Rono