Increasing maize yields in Malawi (Eldis)

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Yield of maize as affected by fertiliser application practices

Authors: K. Msarmo; W. Mhango
Publisher: Bunda College of Agriculture, 2000

Maize is the staple cereal crop to over 80% of the Malawian population and is grown on 75 to 85 % of the arable land. Farmers in Malawi grow hybrid, composite and local maize varieties. The current average yield for subsistence farmers is about 1.3t/ha due to a number of factors such as low soil fertility, pests and diseases, droughts. Yields of up to 8000 kg/ha for hybrid, 5000 kg/ha for composites and 3000 kg/ha for local varieties can be attained with good crop management practices.

A study was conducted at Bunda College of Agriculture, Malawi, during the 2003/04 crop season to assess the effect of fertiliser application practices on performance of maize with emphasis on improving the efficiency of using urea as a top dressing fertilizer. The treatments were laid out as a split-plot in a randomized complete block design with maize varieties as main plots and fertiliser application practices as subplots.



Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.