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close this bookBetter Farming Series 15 - Cereals (FAO - INADES, 1977, 51 p.)
close this folderMaize
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View the documentTraditional maize growing
View the documentHow to increase maize yields

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.