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Transplanting, plant spacing and water management practices by paddy rice farmers in Mwea irrigation scheme

Research Paper | August 1, 2017

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A. K. Munyithya, R. Murori, G. N. Chemining’wa, J. Kinama

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Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.11( 2), 68-76, August 2017


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A survey was done in 2016 across five units of the Mwea Irrigation Scheme using a semi-structured questionnaire in a stratified random sampling approach. Two hundred farmers were interviewed in Wamumu, Karaba, Thiba, Tebere and Mwea sections of the Scheme. Data collected included: method of transplanting, age of seedlings at transplanting, number of seedlings per hole, depth of transplanting, number of years farmers had been in rice production, sizes of land owned by farmers, whether soil testing was done in the fields, net grain yield attained in the field, frequency of irrigation, knowledge on when to irrigate the rice fields, depth of irrigation, whether farmers drained the fields, plant spacing used in the fields and challenges in rice production. All interviewed farmers reported that they transplanted seedlings rather than direct seeding. Over 90% of the farmers transplanted one month or older seedlings at a rate of two seedlings per hole and at a depth of 2cm. Most interviewed farmers had been in rice cultivation for 6-20 years, owned 1-2 acres and produced 2001-5000kg/ha. Farmers irrigated their fields once a week, depending on the field water level at a depth of ≤ 10cm. Majority of interviewed farmers used plant spacing of 30×15 cm and 20×20cm which they associated with increased yields. Water shortage, high input prices, low market prices and pests and diseases were the major challenges in paddy rice production.


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Transplanting, plant spacing and water management practices by paddy rice farmers in Mwea irrigation scheme

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