MAIZE PRODUCTION IN UGANDA
Introduction: Maize (zea mays L.), originally a New World crop, was introduced in Uganda in 1861 (Sprague, 1987) and by 1900 was already an established crop (Ministry of Agriculture 1988). Maize production has improved in Uganda with the adoption of improved technologies by farmers. These technologies include improved seeds like hybrid and open pollinated varieties, timely planting, and proper spacing and timely weeding and harvesting.
Note: On average, 1,500,000 MT (UBOS, 2007) is estimated as the annual Uganda maize production. Of this, about 90% is used for national human consumption, locally and regionally and 10% for animal feeds like Maize bran.
The crop however, is commonly produced in Kapchorwa, Iganga, Masindi, Mbale, Mubende, Kasese, Kamuli, Jinja And Kabarole districts.
Varieties of maize you could grow in Uganda: Common varieties of Maize seed currently available in East Africa include; longe 1, longe 2H, longe 4, longe 5H, longe 2H. Some ealier varieties of Corn in Uganda included White Star and Western Queen which were released in 1960 for the northern and western areas of Uganda respectively. White Star was being recommended for its early maturity (115 days) specifically for short rain areas (e.g. Northern Uganda). Kawanda Composite A was released in 1971 and dominated the improved seed multiplication program for a while. KWCA was specifically recommended for commercial production during the long rains in the maize growing areas. It is rather late maturing (133 days) and requires early planting. A second Kawanda Composite (KWCB) was developed between 1972-1974, and was said to be ready for release to farmers by 1977. It was not, however, released due to lack of seed multiplication facilities.
How to Plant Maize/Corn in Uganda
1. Best time to plant: You need to plant your maize at the onset of the rains either in March or in August to September. However, you could also plant your maize when it’s still dry but during the time when the rains are expected soon. In this case though, you need to treat your seeds against soil pests before planting.
2. Depth of planting: make an estimate of about 5-7 cm deep, and you can make the holes deeper for dry planting and sandy soil.
3. Spacing: when spacing maize it may solely depend on the variety of the maize taken up and or if an intercropping pattern is used on the maize field. for example , longe1 is spaced by 75x30cm with a seed rate of 25kg/ha.longe 2H is given a spacing of 75x30m with a seed rate of 25kg/ha so does other varieties.