Land for growing maize should be prepared in advance and fertilisers applied in order to enable them to be absorbed in the soil before the planting and to make sure that a farmer plants immediately the rains start.
In Uganda, most farmers use the hand hoe to prepare the farm, while others use the Ox-plough, walking tractors and big tractors.
The hand hoe is slow and less effective and not ideal for commercial maize farmers.
The Ox-plough is okay, however, it is not as effective as the tractors because they do not only open up larger parts of land, but also dig deeper into the fertile soils.
- Prepare holes at a spacing of 75cmx60cm. Apply farmyard manure if you have it or inorganic fertilisers such as DAP or NPK at a rate of 50kg per acre. Apply one full soda bottle cap in each hole and cover. DAP/NPK helps in root formation and improving yields. You need 10kg for each acre.
- Carry out the first weeding two weeks after planting. After three weeks, top dress with UREA/CAN, at 50kg per acre. Spread the fertiliser within the rows of the crops. UREA, which contains nitrogen, increases crop health and yields.
- After 120 days, most varieties are now ready for harvesting if one is eating it fresh. To further dry it on the farm, you need another 20 days. To get good quality grain, harvest the maize and store it in a proper storage facility that is hoisted by at least a foot off the ground. There are also cereal storage bags on the market.