Thursday, July 25, 2024

A look at the new high yielding finger millet variety developed by KALRO

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), in collaboration with partners, has developed a new finger millet variety to boost production and meet the rising demand for the cereal in the country.

The programme, supported by Centre for Behaviour Change and Communication, Kalro and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service will be rolled out in Busia starting 2025 after successfully being piloted among selected farmers in Teso South subcounty.

It will see farmers adopt high-yielding finger millet instead of the traditional low-yielding millet varieties thereby ensuring food security.

Co-Op post

Farmers seeking to grow the variety will get seeds from Kalro, while Kephis will be responsible for monitoring the production process to ensure that production guidelines are followed from the farm to storage.

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The new variety is said to be not only high-yielding but is also early maturing and can withstand drought.


Farmers piloting the programme have already planted the millet and are set to harvest before close of 2024.

Martha Oporia, a millet farmer, encouraged other millet farmers to adopt certified seeds, which are more yielding than the local millet varieties.

“I encourage my fellow farmers to start planting certified seed from Kalro because once  you plant and follow up all the measures, you will get maximum yield compared to local breed,” she said.


Unlike the local varieties which are broadcast during planting, certified seed is planted in lines. This, she said, eases transplanting, weeding, fertiliser application as well as insecticide spraying.

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