Optimizing moisture and nutrient variability under different cropping patterns in terraced farms for improved crop performance in Narok county, Kenya

Terraces have been used to regulate, discharge excess runoff and reduce soil loss, however its ability to harvest and store water in the terraced field has not been fully investigated.

Production systems, land cover change and soil factors affecting pastur e production in semi1arid Nakasongola

The current pace of rangeland degradation imparted by appalling land use and management systems is greatly limiting the potential of the soil resource to support pasture production in semi - arid rangeland s of Uganda. Our objectives were to determine the effects of land cover change and production systems on pasture biomass yield and to identify the critical soil factors affecting pasture production in Nakasongola.

Macrofauna diversity and abundance across different land use systems in Embu, Kenya

This paper presents data on diversity and abundance of soil macrofauna of various land use systems in Embu, Kenya (natural forest, plantation forest, fallow, coffee, tea, napier, and maize). Each was sampled for macrofauna using three sampling methods (monolith, transect and pitfall traps). Thirty four (34) genera/species of soil macrofauna were recorded, the highest number (27) being observed in napier. Majority of these genera/species being Coleoptera.

About Solar Maize Dryer

A solar dryer integrated with a simple biomass burner was designed and constructed with locally available materials to dry maize. The dryer was composed of solar collector, drying chamber, back-up heater and airflow system all integrated together. The back-up heater provided alternative heating during cloudy weather conditions or at night when solar radiations were low. The dryer was designed based on climatic conditions of Mau summit located in Nakuru County, Kenya.

Some performance aspects of seed maize processing operations

The processing of seed maize includes such activities like drying, shelling, cleaning, sizing or grading, chemical treatment and bagging. Most of these unit operations are capable of affecting the quality of seed if proper control is not instituted. The objective of this thesis is to analyse some performance aspects of an existing commercial seed maize processing plant of the Kenya Seed Company Limited. A good portion of this work has dealt with drying and damage to seed during shelling since it was felt that the two areas are more critical in the present situation.

Predisposing factors to aflatoxin contamination of maize in Eastern Kenya

Maize is the staple diet of majority of Kenyan population but repeated outbreaks of mycotoxin poisoning in Eastern Kenya is a major food safety constraint. This study was conducted to determine maize production and handling practices that contribute to aflatoxin contamination in maize in Eastern Kenya. A survey was conducted in Makueni, Machakos, and Kitui districts of Eastern province during 2008 and 2009 cropping seasons.

Conservation tillage implements and operations for soil and water management in Eastern and Southern Africa

Improved agricultural productivity using conservation farming (CF) systems based on non-inversion tillage methods, have predominantly originated from farming systems in sub-humid to humid regions where water is not a key limiting factor for crop growth. This paper presents evidence of increased yields and improved water productivity using conservation farming in semi-arid and dry sub-humid locations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. Results are based on on-farm farmer and research managed experiments during the period 1999–2003.

Some performance aspects of seed maize processing operations

The processing of seed maize includes such activities like drying, shelling, cleaning, sizing or grading, chemical treatment and bagging. Most of these unit operations are capable of affecting the quality of seed if proper control is not instituted. The objective of this thesis is to analyse some performance aspects of an existing commercial seed maize processing plant of the Kenya Seed Company Limited. A good portion of this work has dealt with drying and damage to seed during shelling since it was felt that the two areas are more critical in the present situation.

Yield and water use efficiencies of maize and cowpea as affected by tillage and cropping systems in semi-arid Eastern Kenya

Soil water conservation through tillage is widely accepted as one of the ways of improving crop yields in rainfed agriculture. Field experiments were conducted between 2007 and 2009 to evaluate the effects of conservation tillage on the yields and crop water use efficiency of maize (Zea mays L.) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) in eastern Kenya. Experimental treatments were a combination of three tillage practices and four cropping systems. Tillage practices were tied-ridges, subsoiling-ripping and ox-ploughing.

Climate Change and Crop Yield in Sub-Saharan Africa

Recent scientific evidence shows that crop yields in many Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) countries are likely to be severely affected by climate change. Reliance on rainfall in this region increases the vulnerability of cereal systems to climate change and variability. In large parts of SSA, maize (Zea mays L.) is the principal staple crop, covering a total of nearly 27 M ha, and yet maize yields remain the lowest in the world, stagnated at less than 2 Mg ha−1. Calculated and simulated analyses for SSA show that crop yields will decline by more than 10 % by 2055.

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