Giving hope a chance: Farmer stories on the DroughtTEGO™ hybrid

With over 20 years’ experience in farming, it was a pleasure to hear Patrick Magana Londi, a farmer from Holo, Kisumu County say “I am confident in the TEGO”. Patrick was referring to the WE1101 hybrid.

Patrick holds the large ear of the DroughtTEGO™ maize hybrid

Patrick holds the large ear of the DroughtTEGO™ maize hybrid

Being a seasoned farmer, and one who does farming as a business, Patrick says he practices due diligence before adopting new technologies as this is where his income comes from. This was his third harvest of the DroughtTEGO™ hybrid and he reckons he has made a good decision in adopting the hybrid. “I follow up on new seeds so that I can plant the latest technologies as our area here is so dry and usually we don’t get good harvests if we don’t go for good seeds. For this season (Long rains) we haven’t had any (variety) which did better than this one (TEGO)”, he says.

Patrick says he used to go for short-term varieties due to the changes in weather but with TEGO, changing weather notwithstanding, he has been able to harvest more crop per drop. Patrick harvested 370 kilograms of grain in his 0.4 acre land where he would previously harvest 210 kilograms with other hybrids. “We have received up to 16 lines of maize which we don’t usually get with other varieties that produce 8, 10 lines if many 12 lines”, he said.

Due to his experience in farming, Patrick is a model farmer in his region, “farmers look up to me, now we have a lot of demand for TEGO because they want to get the same harvest I had”, he says as a matter of fact.

In his opinion, the more farmers adopt the DroughtTEGO™ hybrid in that area, the better chances of food security. ” We don’t  now rely on short and  long rains, whenever you think you are planting during long rains it turns to be short rains instead because the weather is unreliable that’s why I would put much effort on TEGO”, he concludes.

North of Kisumu in Vihiga County farmer Gladys Avedi, a widow who has just harvested the DroughtTEGO™ hybrid from a 100M square plot has spread several ears on the ground to dry before shelling. The size of the ears and the pearl white colour of the grains are attractive. The mother of six children; three girls and three boys confessed of her eagerness to know what the grain tasted like saying that just after the milking stage when the crop was still on the farm, she roasted a few ears, and she was not disappointed. “It was very sweet and I was tempted to harvest it all then for roasting…now I can’t wait to taste its Ugali once it has dried and I grind it into flour”. She said in anticipation.

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Gladys talked of how her neighbours were curious about this new hybrid she had planted; with a number of them buying the seeds during field days that were set-up to showcase the performance of the hybrid, ready to plant in the next season.

Gladys says she is motivated to continue planting the DroughtTEGO™ because where she would originally harvest about 20 kilograms of grain she harvested 80 kilograms.

Armed with her 2 kilogram packet of the seed for next season’s planting, Gladys is hopeful about her future as a farmer. “This is good seed and I think if I plant a lot of it, like one acre, I can sell some of the produce when I harvest, pay school fees for my children as well as have enough to feed my family” she said.

 

 

 

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