Wheat

INTRODUCTION

Wheat or ngano (in Swahili) is the most widely adapted, being grown from sea-level to altitudes of more than 4500 m, and from the equator to within the Arctic Circle and currently occupies the second highest production figures after maize. The demand for wheat flour in Kenya at present cannot be sustained by local production, so the country relies on import to meet almost half its consumption. Wheat provides almost 20% of all human food energy. It is made into various products including bread (leavened, flat and steamed). It is also used as a brewing ingredient in certain beverages.

PRODUCTION

Varieties Ngamia, Farasi, Njoro BW1 / 2, KS Mwamba/Simba, Kenya Pasa, Kenya nungu, Kenya Mbuni, Kenya Kwale.
Seed Rate 75 – 125 kg/ha using combine harvester
Fertilizer Rate 150 – 200 kg/ha of Phosphate
Planting Spacing Broadcast 3.75 bags per hectare.
Husbandry Uniform crop stand and early vigour discourage weed growth. In this respect tillering allows the crop to compensate for poor stands and variable weather conditions. Yield losses due to weeds are caused by early competition in the first 4-5 weeks. Wheat is best rotated with non-graminaceous crops, particularly with pulses, potatoes or any other crop which is possible to keep free of weeds. The seed must be dressed with copper oxychloride (1 kg/100 kg of seed) to improve on copper in the soil. Also a foliar spray of 1 kg/ha should be applied at early tillering stage. Usually Planted in April/may and harvested September/October
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
Russian wheat aphid Visible pale to light green bugs Use insecticides
Maturity Duration 4-7 months
Climatic Conditions Wheat is grown in 10 to 24°C optimal temperatures. The rainfall of 700 to 1000 mm rain per year will be able to grow rain fed wheat. Soils best suited for production are well aerated, well drained, and deep, with 0.5% or more organic matter. Optimum soil pH ranges between 5.5 and 7.5. Wheat is sensitive to soil salinity.
Harvesting Small scale farmers usually cut the wheat using hand sickles. This should be done when the kernels have become hard. The wheat is then tied into bundles and stacked to be threshed when completely dry. Threshing, which is more difficult with wheat than with rice, may be done by beating with flails. Large scale farmers use combine harvesters and can sometimes be persuaded to harvest smaller plots for a fee.
Post Harvest and Storage The grain should be dried to a maximum moisture content of 13% before storing.
Growing Regions Central and Rift valley regions
Expected yields 20 – 40 bags per hectare

PROCESSING

Processing Mostly milled into Flour.

MARKETING

Place Wheat is sold locally.
Price Kshs. 2500 – 4000 per 90 kg

CONSUMPTION

Products and Uses Wheat Flour Bread, Pastries, crackers, biscuits, noodles, macaroni, spaghetti, couscous, breakfast cereals, baby foods, and food thickeners.
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values Energy: 364.0 / 18%; Carbohydrates: 76.3 / 25%; Proteins: 10.3 / 21%; Phosphorus: 108 / 11%.

FACTS & FIGURES

The highest yield of wheat is experienced in Mau Narok area.

BUSINESS CASE

Income Per Hectare: Kshs 50,000 (20 bags * 2500/-)Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 20,000 (40% of Income).

NET: Kshs. 30,000 (60% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 8 bags per hectare.

Income Frequency: Once per year.