In Summary
  • I’m a farmer and have planted five acres of groundnuts. In a month’s time they will be ready. Kindly advise me the best seeds and where I can get the best market.
  • I am a poultry, fish and horticulture farmer based in Meru, and I wish to partner with Alice Migwi. I would appreciate if you could furnish me with her contacts.
  • Kenya Seed Company would be most ideal for good quality seeds of vegetables

QUALITY SEEDS

I have a quarter an acre. I have subdivided a section for sukuma wiki and I want the rest to plant traditional vegetables, especially managu, cow peas and sagaa. Where can I get high quality seeds for the above mentioned crops.
James Ongeti

Kenya Seed Company would be most ideal for good quality seeds of vegetables
Seeds of Gold Team,
Egerton University

CULTIVATING LUCERNE
Please advise me on how I can establish a Lucerne stand.

Jeremiah Gacheru

Lucerne is best established by seeds at a rate of about 4kg per acre sown at the onset of a rainy season in a shallow seedbed (5 to 15mm) with good soil-seed contact. Inoculating lucerne seeds helps germination, early seedling vigour and nodulation but in the absence of inoculants, seeds can be soaked in two to three litres of water per 25kg. Approximately 50kg per hectare of nitrogen fertiliser can be applied during sowing.
Kimitei Ronald, Deparment of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.
ronaldkimitei@gmail.com

I WANT TO ENGAGE IN DAIRY FARMING

I have three quarter acres complete with a well with hard water for irrigation in Alego West, Siaya County and I am interested in dairy (zero grazing) and agribusiness. Please advice on suitable breed and crops to plant.
Dola

Now that you want to venture into dairy cattle farming, the best source would be around Nyanza due to the climatic conditions of your area. About two Friesian animals would be best to start with.

Thereafter, raise your own calves and I am sure this will take a small piece of land for the zero grazing structure though having in mind expansion. The rest of the land can accommodate fresh growing vegetables, making best use of the borehole water, consider also crop rotation.
Felix Akatch, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.
akatchf@yahoo.com.

With proper management and technical advice, hard water can be used in irrigation of salinity-tolerant crops such as tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, watermelons, sweet corn and cabbage. Grass for pasture may not be a problem to irrigate with hard water since most are salt-tolerant. However, it is advisable you carry out a preliminary water hardness test from agricultural laboratories to form the basis for long term recommendations. You should be careful to use the appropriate piping installations for your irrigation system.

John Nganga, Department of crops horticulture and soil. jngash02@gmail.com

NEW BEAN VARIETIES
I would like to know the distributors of Egerton bean seeds in Bungoma and Eldoret town.
Stellah

We have not established a distributor in Bungoma yet, but you can get them from Kitale at Mazop Distributors, contact 0722875780. In Eldoret, you can get from Green Farm stores (Contact Paul Limo 0722375866) or 64 Agrovet or Maraba Agrovet in Eldoret.
Prof Paul Kimurto, Agro-Science Park Egerton University

It’s with great interest that I have learnt of the new bean varieties. Which of these varieties can grow in Kakamega County? I have a quarter acre where I have planted maize currently and I would wish to plant beans. Is this a good practice? I would wish to try the new Egerton varieties?
Farmer

Tasha variety is good for Kakamega. You need 6kg for quarter an acre. Intercropping is a good practice especially in small-scale but you need to do a wider of maize of 75 by 30cm and two rows of beans. There are also Kari Kakamega varieties like KK8 and KK15, which could do well there. Call 0725-889689 for any queries.
Bernard Towett-Crops Horticultural Dept, Egerton University

Of the three beans varieties from Egerton, which one can perform well in lower Nyakach during the short rains. I have an acre which I am planning to plant beans. What is the seed rate?  Are there stockists of the seeds around the lake region especially Kisumu and at what cost per kilo?

Egerton beans might not do well in the region. The right legume crop for lower Nyakach is Chickpea. Chickpea is a drought-tolerant crop which does well in black cotton soils and can be done in the off season after harvesting rice, sorghum, maize or millets. Chickpea seeds have been released by Egerton University Seed Unit and adoption promotions are ongoing in Nyakach. If interested contact, 0725889689.

Bernard Towett-Crops Hort Soils Department, Egerton University
BEST SEEDS FOR GROUNDNUTS

I’m a farmer and have planted five acres of groundnuts. In a month’s time they will be ready. Kindly advise me the best seeds and where I can get the best market
. Paul

You have not said where you are doing your business, but there is a good market for groundnuts in major towns like Nairobi, Kisumu and Thika. There are also small and medium processing companies which can buy your crop.

You could inquire seed from sources like Kari Kakamega, ICRISAT, Leldet Seeds or Dryland Seeds or Kenya Seed Company.

Please contact them. The best varieties that have been commercialised in Kenya include ICGV 90704, ICGV 83708, ICGV 99568 and ICGV 12991 for most growing areas of Nyanza, Coast, Kerio valley, Baringo, Eastern and Western.
Prof Paul Kimurto,

Agro-Science Park, Egerton University

BEST POTATO VARIETIES

I have a two-acre piece of land at Kinangop, where I want to plant Irish potatoes. I’ve not farmed before. Where can I get suitable certified seeds?
Simon

You can obtain potato seeds and potato farming practices from Kari Muguga, ADC Molo, Ann Mbugua Molo and Kisima farm in Meru, who are producers of certified potato seeds.
John Nganga. jngash02@gmail.com. Department of crops horticulture and soil.

KEEPING GARLIC FREE OF DISEASES
I would like to know how to keep garlic onions free from Fusarium Root Rot.

Fusarium Root Rot is caused by a soil borne fungus that can survive in the soil for long. Like most other soil-borne diseases, the first line of defence should be to establish the onions in pathogen free soil.

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