December , 2015
By Evelyn Situma
Jotham’s maize yield has increased from 10 kilograms to 10 bags of 90kg maize from when he started farming DroughtTEGO™ maize hybrid developed by Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project in 2014.
For seven years, he harvested only 10 kilograms of maize from a quarter of an acre piece of land (equivalent to 0.1 t/ha). “At the time I knew nothing about technology. That is why I never got much from my farm. But now my yield has increased because of DroughtTEGO™ maize seed and good agronomy practices,” he said.
WEMA through its project partner, Rural Outreach Programme (ROP), a community based farmer organization in Western Kenya has been conducting field demonstrations (demo) for farmers in the region. It’s through the awareness drives that Jotham was approached to host a field demo at his farm.
“They set up a 10 metre by 10 metre demo plot with several maize varieties on each. TEGO variety- WE1101 out-did the rest,” said Jotham. He harvested 70 kg from the demo plot.
In 2015, he bought TEGO seed and planted it on half an acre farm. The harvest, he said, was his best- 10 bags of 90kg maize (4.5 t/ha). Jotham is now a TEGO champion in his community. He convinced parents in a neighboring primary school to adopt TEGO and donate a bag of maize each season for the school feeding program.
“Our children are no longer hungry,” he said.