Determination of Water Use Efficiency for Improving the Maize Based Cropping Systems of Sub-Humid Central Kenya

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National Agricultural Research Laboratories
Rainfall variability can influence maize and bean growth, development and yields even in areas otherwise considered as humid (e.g. the Upper Midland zone 30f Kenya). To determine the nature of this influence and give water use efficiency recommendations, different options of nutrient management combinations will be applied in six verification trial sites in central Kenya target zone. The inputs will include 11 options of inorganic fertilisers, organic inputs including green manures and their combinations at six clusters in Kiambu, Muranga, Thika, Maragua, Nyeri and Kirinyaga districts. A 24-year old long-term trial (LTT) results at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL), Kabete collected alongside will supplement the twoyear on-farm verification trials and will provide a basis for simulating soil moisture responsible for the observed seasonal yield variations using the CERES model. Outputs will include data sets on climate, soil and crop influencing water use efficiency, improved capability to simulate crop water use, a revised map of the Upper Midland agro-ecological zone 3, a tool for further research, a reformulated work plan for the LIT and recommendations of appropriate and efficiently moisture using nutrient options for farmers in the target area.