Water Harvesting Furrows Options for Maize Production in the Southern Rangelands of Semi-Arid Kenya

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Date
2013
Authors
Githunguri,C.M.
Esilaba,A.O.
Muga,M.
Wekesa,L.
Mutunga,C.
Muchiri,D.
Ng'etheR.
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Abstract
The Southern Rangelands of Kenya's drylands are prone to unreliable and insufficient rainfall making crop production risky and food insecurity and poverty rampant. The drylands are characterized with low and erratic rainfall and high transpiration rates. In order to improve crop and tree production in these areas, sustainable drought mitigation farming methods, through better on-farm rainwater management are required. A study was conducted to determine the effect of using mechanized furrows made using the Valleranitechnology, vis-a-vis the traditional furrows made using the oxen plough to harvest rainwater, on the yield of maize in Kibwezi and Kiboko Divisions in the Southern Rangelands of Kenya. Other common water harvesting methods include creation of surface and earth dams, roof catchment, trapping road runoff and directing the water into the farm, and digging of tied trenches. The Valleranitechnology involved use of a tractor with a calibrated Delphino plough to make tied ridges and furrows during seedbed preparation before planting. Eleven farmers were selected from Mtito Andei and Kibwezi Divisions. Maize was planted in 5 m x 3 m plots with a total of 66 Plants and a sample of 24 plants harvested
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East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 79 (No 3), p. 179-183
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