IMPACT OF MAIZE LETHAL NECROSIS DISEASE ON MAIZE YIELD: A CASE OF KISII, KENYA
The study aimed at determining the level of Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease and its effect on maize yield in Kisii County and come up with a document showing the prevalence and distribution of the disease across the nine Sub-counties in the region. A simple random sampling technique was used to obtain a sample of 172 respondents from a target household population of 10,000 maize farmers. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data that was subjected to Microsoft Excel and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software (Version 20) for analysis. The findings indicated that the mean age of the respondents was 41.5 years and the average proportion of land allocated for maize production was 1.25 acres. Majority of the respondent had secondary education as their highest level of education. The findings further showed that, Masaba South was the most affected Sub-County by Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease at 74.8%, followed by Bobasi at 74% while Kitutu Chache South was the least affected at 31.2%. The correlation between maize yields and Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease revealed a negative weak relationship of r= -0.277 at a p value of 0.000. It is recommended that farmers should avoid growing maize in consecutive seasons, movement of affected crop debris or materials from one region to another should be stopped to minimize the incidence rates; diversify crops planted and practice crop rotation with non-cereal crops, formulation of extension policy and implement them in all counties to ensure that farmers get necessary information on how to mitigate Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease hence improved maize yield.
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