Water Use of Katumani Composite B Maize As Determined From Climatic Data

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Mugah,J. O.
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The need to increase and stabilize food crop production in the medium and low potential areas of Kenya is becoming increasingly urgent as the country's population continues to rise. As pal: of its efforts to satisfy this need, 'the Kenya Government in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Agency for International Development is currently carrying out a Project on Cropping Systems for The Marginal Rainfall Areas of Kenya. The project, stationed at Muguga, was stalled in October 1977. A "priority area" in the project involves quantifying crop yield versus water use relationships for various crops. l1he information gained from this study will be of importance in matching different crops or varieties to sui'1able rainfall regimes under rain fed conditions (Stew,art and Wang'ati, 197B); it will be equally important in irrigated agriculture for offering guidance on when to irrigate and 'how much irrigation water to apply in order to maximize yields (Gabites, 1960 and Stewart, 1972). Considering that maize is the most popular food crop among the majority of Kenyans, an early maturing maize variety, (Katumani Composite B) suitable for ,the marginal rainfall areas of Kenya where annual rainfall is in the range of 500-BOO mm was selected as the initial crop for which relations between yield and wa1er use would be studied.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 45 (No 1), p. 92-102