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Maize Seed Area (MSA)

Smallholder maize growers can use rather divergent plant spacings for their maize. Distances between rows, within rows and the number of seeds planted per planting station can vary substantially, resulting in in rather different plant densities. OWhereas plant spacing should be adapted to available nutrients and rainfall, spacing practices are often based on blanket recommendations (based on optimal plant nutrition), farmer preference, or common practice among farmers in an area.

Maize-Seed- Area (MSA) is a phone-based application that enables agro-dealers, extension workers and farmers to give field-specific, sound agronomic advice on plan spacing. It provides appropriate plant spacing options for the field, advices farmers on how much seed of their preferred variety they should buy for the field, and provides additional information on available maize varieties, so farmers can make an informed choice.

The main functionalities of this application include:

  1. Measuring a field area with the phone’s in-build GPS (Global Positioning System)
  2. Providing advice on plant density depending on
    • Soil type
    • The amount of manure and fertilizer to be used
    • The slope of the field
    • What was grown in the field before
    • Whether it is a fertile or infertile field
  3. Estimating the amount (in kilograms) seed of a preferred variety that is needed to plant a measured/estimated field area.
  4. Providing information on (40+) maize varieties available in Western Kenya, including search options by:
    • Drought Tolerance (DT)
    • Duration class