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New drought screening site takes shape

A new drought screening site at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) station in Kiboko, Kenya, is nearly ready for its first planting. Kiboko is located about 140 km south east of Nairobi on the main road to Mombassa and the Tsavo National Park. When completed the new 16-hectare field will be used to plant trials to select new drought-tolerant maize lines as part of the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa initiative (DTMA). Site manager, Anthony Karuku, says he expects to have work at the site completed soon, with all the fencing, a perimeter road, and sprinkler irrigation in place and the site ready for planting by late November.

The first maize planting will be used to map soil fertility and look for problems of this or any other type. The new site significantly increases the amount of land available to the DTMA to screen for drought tolerance in maize.

Anthony Karuku with Stephen Mugo