Maize Farm 2023
In November 2022 the farm worker at the maize farm, reported that the total harvest of maize for the year yielded 71 x 90Kg bags from the 4 acres of land that was planted. A second season planting of beans had yielded 2 x 90Kg bags of beans.
Maize farming in Kenya last year proved particularly challenging as a result of the high cost of fertiliser. This resulted in many farmers taking the difficult decision not to plant maize last year and wait for the cost of fertiliser to reduce. On the school farm the farm worker had to use less fertiliser than he would have normally used to try and reduce costs and this has inevitably resulted in a reduced harvest.
The Founder and Director of Patmos School visited the farm in late December to oversee the negotiations for rental of land for 2023. As the cost of fertiliser had risen significantly in 2022 and land rental costs had increased, he decided to only rent 4 acres of land for the 2023 season.
April 2023 Update:
The Farm worker reported that the land preparation and planting of the maize and beans had now been completed. This first season the beans have been intercropped with the maize. The Founder and Director of Patmos Cottage School, Mr. Richard Wanjala Manya, will be travelling to the maize farm during the Easter break.
10th April, 2023 - Update:
The Founder of Patmos Cottage School, Richard Wanjala Manya, visited the school maize farm. He reported that beans had now been interplanted with the maize. The farm worker explained that the first weeding of the fields had commenced and were expected to take two or three days to complete and there will then be a second weeding in about a month’s time. Once the weeding has finished eurea will be spread to help nourish the maize crop. Eurea is primarily used as a fertiliser and is a chloride free ice melting salt. The first crop of beans are expected to be harvested in June when a second season bean planting will take place.
December 2023 - Update:
Kenya has experienced five consecutive below-average rainy seasons, causing the longest and most severe drought in recent history. In agro-pastoral areas well-below-average rainfall has limited land preparation and planting, resulting in minimal harvests. The drought, combined with the high cost of fuel and fertiliser, has presented significant challenges for the farm workers at the school maize farm. Only 1 x 90kg bag of beans was harvested in the first season planting and these will be used as bean seed in the next planting in 2024. The maize harvest yielded 78 x 90kg bags of maize. As long as land rental costs do not significantly increase then 5 acres of land will be rented in 2024.
The maize and beans grown at the school farm supplement the School Feeding Program which aims to provide a breakfast of porridge and a daily meal for all the children at Patmos School.
To read about the maize harvest in 2022 click here
To read about the maize harvest in 2021 click here
To read about the maize harvest in 2020 click here
To read about the maize farm project click here