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close this bookBetter Farming Series 15 - Cereals (FAO - INADES, 1977, 51 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
close this folderWhat are food crops?
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View the documentWhat cereals are grown in Africa?
View the documentWhy cereals are grown
View the documentWhy we should produce and sell more cereals
View the documentTraditional cereal growing
close this folderGrowing cereals in the modern way
View the documentClearing land and grubbing out trees
View the documentConserving and improving the soil
View the documentApplying manure and fertilizers
View the documentPreparing the soil
View the documentSelecting and preparing seeds
View the documentSowing in rows
View the documentHow to look after cereals
View the documentHarvesting
View the documentSelling part of the harvest
close this folderSorghum and millet
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View the documentSorghum
close this folderMillet
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close this folderHow to grow sorghum and millet
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View the documentGrowing sorghum in the dry season
View the documentSorghum for animal feeding
close this folderMaize
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View the documentTraditional maize growing
View the documentHow to increase maize yields
close this folderOther cereals
View the documentFonio
View the documentFinger millet
View the documentWheat
View the documentSuggested question paper

Traditional maize growing

· Traditionally, maize is grown in association with other crops.

It is grown in the same field with yams, cotton or groundnuts. When several crops are grown in the same field, harvests are poor, sowing is not done at the right time, weeding is not well done, and much time is lost in harvesting.

· Traditionally, maize is grown without the use of new tools.

The soil cannot be well worked with the hand hoe, and so the soil is not loosened; the roots cannot penetrate well into the soil to take up water and mineral salts; the plants are not well nourished. There is not much grain; the yield is low.

· Traditionally, maize is grown without fertilizers.

No mineral salts are added to the soil; the soil becomes poor. So old fields must be left fallow and new fields have to be cleared. This is shifting cultivation.

With shifting cultivation, much land is not cultivated and yields no harvest. Farmers lose a lot of time clearing new fields.

Shifting cultivation must stop in order to increase maize production.