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Establishment

Sources of Planting Materials

Disease free planting materials should be sourced from KARI – Kakamega, KARI Kitale, KARI Alupe and KARI Muguga. Farmers should contact the nearest Livestock Extension officer for further advice while sourcing for planting material.

Planting

Plant at the beginning of the main (reliable) rainy season. Either canes or splits can be used for propagation. Canes require less labour and planting material. While splits are labour intensive and requires a lot of planting material.

Establishment

The recommended time for establishing Napier Grass is at the onset of long rains in the high potential areas. While for the medium potential productions areas it is recommended that they plant during the seasons when they receive reliable rains. Land earmarked for planting should be well prepared before the planting season. The soils clods should be pulverized and free from weeds. 

Methods of propagation

Napier is established using stem cuttings, root splits or whole cane.

Cane Cuttings

Is a stem consisting of three to four nodes obtained from mature stems. The stems should have grown over two meters high. Farmers should preferably use the middle part of the stem. Care should be taken not to damage the buds during handling. 

Splits

Splits are uprooted parts of a Napier plant/Stool after the leaves/stems have been 

cut back to 10 – 15 cm. Care should be taken not to damage the roots. Each split should have some roots and soils. Root splits establish faster. Splits preferably used to extend a field of Napier grass of gapping. Require regular rainfall

Whole Cane

Involves utilization of an entire stem as the planting material. The stem/cane is laid end to end in shallow furrows and covered with soil. Care should be taken to ensure that the stems have active buds (buds that can grow). Has low and un even germination. 

Caution: Adopt a planting method that is appropriate – low costs and low labour intensive.


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