Combining geo-referenced survey data with agroclimatic attributes to characterize maize production systems in Kenya
Hassan, R. M
Corbett, J. D
MetadataShow full item record
Data from the nationwide survey of maize farmers were combined with other spatial data to refine the initial classification of maize adaptation zones and characterize maize production systems in Kenya. Analyses of the determinants of farmers' planting strategies confirmed that farmers' choice of varieties deviated from varieties recommended by researchers for the maize adaptation zones used by the national maize program. One interpretation of this discrepancy is that farmers grow other varieties because the time to maturity of the recommended varieties is actually not suitable to farmers' conditions. The divergence was highest in the mid-altitude zone. New boundary conditions were developed to distinguish a transitional zone between the typical mid-altitude and highland tropical zones. Areas encompassed by the new zone were slightly cooler than areas belonging to the mid-altitude zone and warmer than those in the highland tropics. The new transitional zone and the mid-altitude zone encompass most of Kenya's maize area and maize farmers, and should receive greater attention from the maize research system. The major characteristics of Kenya's maize farming systems include the dominance of intercropping; cropping intensity; various biotic and abiotic stress factors; and the influence of population density on intensity of maize cultivation, time to maturity of germplasm used by farmers, and pressure on fragile lands.