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Kenya History

Think Tanks
Human Prehistory
Wikipedia. The Turkana boy, a 1.6-million-year-old hominid fossil belonging to Homo erectus.
Fossils found in Kenya have shown that primates inhabited the area for more than 20 million years. Recent findings near Lake Turkana indicate that hominids such as Homo habilis (1.8 to 2.5 million years ago) and Homo erectus (1.9 million to 350,000 years ago) are possible direct ancestors of modern Homo sapiens, and lived in Kenya in the Pleistocene epoch.[30]

During excavations at Lake Turkana in 1984, paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, assisted by Kamoya Kimeu, discovered the Turkana Boy, a 1.6-million-year-old Homo erectus fossil. Previous research on early hominids is particularly identified with Mary Leakey and Louis Leakey, who were responsible for the preliminary archaeological research at Olorgesailie and Hyrax Hill. Later work at the former site was undertaken by Glynn Isaac.[30]

East Africa, including Kenya, is one of the earliest regions where modern humans (Homo sapiens) are believed to have lived. Evidence was found in 2018, dating to about 320,000 years ago, at the Kenyan site of Olorgesailie, of the early emergence of modern behaviours, including long-distance trade networks (involving goods such as obsidian), the use of pigments, and the possible making of projectile points. The authors of three 2018 studies on the site observed that the evidence of these behaviours is approximately contemporary to the earliest known Homo sapiens fossil remains (such as at Jebel Irhoud in Morocco and Florisbad in South Africa), and they suggest that complex and modern behaviours had already begun in Africa around the time of the emergence of Homo sapiens.[31][32][33]

The first inhabitants of present-day Kenya were hunter-gatherer groups, akin to the modern Khoisan speakers.[34] These people were later largely replaced by agropastoralist Cushitic (ancestral to Kenya's Cushitic speakers) from the Horn of Africa.[35] During the early Holocene, the regional climate shifted from dry to wetter conditions, providing an opportunity for the development of cultural traditions such as agriculture and herding, in a more favourable environment.[34]

Around 500 BC, Nilotic-speaking pastoralists (ancestral to Kenya's Nilotic speakers) started migrating from present-day southern Sudan into Kenya.[16][36][37] Nilotic groups in Kenya include the Kalenjin, Samburu, Luo, Turkana, and Maasai.[38]

By the first millennium AD, Bantu-speaking farmers had moved into the region, initially along the coast.[39] The Bantus originated in West Africa along the Benue River in what is now eastern Nigeria and western Cameroon.[40] The Bantu migration brought new developments in agriculture and ironworking to the region.[40] Bantu groups in Kenya include the Kikuyu, Luhya, Kamba, Kisii, Meru, Kuria, Aembu, Ambeere, Wadawida-Watuweta, Wapokomo, and Mijikenda, among others.

Notable prehistoric sites in the interior of Kenya include the (possibly archaeoastronomical) site Namoratunga on the west side of Lake Turkana and the walled settlement of Thimlich Ohinga in Migori County.

Swahili trade period
Further information: Swahili culture and Sultanate of Zanzibar
A traditional Swahili carved wooden door in Lamu.
The Kenyan coast had served host to communities of ironworkers and Bantu subsistence farmers, hunters, and fishers who supported the economy with agriculture, fishing, metal production, and trade with foreign countries. These communities formed the earliest city-states in the region, which were collectively known as Azania.[41]

By the 1st century CE, many of the city-states such as Mombasa, Malindi, and Zanzibar began to establish trading relations with Arabs. This led to increased economic growth of the Swahili states, the introduction of Islam, Arabic influences on the Swahili Bantu language, cultural diffusion, as well as the Swahili city-states becoming members of a larger trade network.[42][43] Many historians had long believed that the city-states were established by Arab or Persian traders, but archaeological evidence has led scholars to recognise the city-states as an indigenous development which, though subjected to foreign influence due to trade, retained a Bantu cultural core.[44]

The Kilwa Sultanate was a medieval sultanate centred at Kilwa, in modern-day Tanzania. At its height, its authority stretched over the entire length of the Swahili Coast, including Kenya. It was said to be founded in the 10th century by Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi,[45] a Persian Sultan from Shiraz in southern Iran.[46] However, scholars have suggested that claims of Arab or Persian origin of city-states were attempts by the Swahili to legitimise themselves both locally and internationally.[47][48] Since the 10th century, rulers of Kilwa would go on to build elaborate coral mosques and introduce copper coinage.[49]

Swahili, a Bantu language with Arabic, Persian, and other Middle-Eastern and South Asian loanwords, later developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples.[41] Swahili now also has loanwords from English.

Early Portuguese colonization
Portuguese presence in Kenya lasted from 1498 until 1730. Mombasa was under Portuguese rule from 1593 to 1698 and again from 1728 to 1729.
The Swahili built Mombasa into a major port city and established trade links with other nearby city-states, as well as commercial centres in Persia, Arabia, and even India.[50] By the 15th-century, Portuguese voyager Duarte Barbosa claimed that ""Mombasa is a place of great traffic and has a good harbour in which there are always moored small craft of many kinds and also great ships, both of which are bound from Sofala and others which come from Cambay and Melinde and others which sail to the island of Zanzibar.""[51]

In the 17th century, the Swahili coast was conquered and came under the direct rule of the Omani Arabs, who expanded the slave trade to meet the demands of plantations in Oman and Zanzibar.[52] Initially, these traders came mainly from Oman, but later many came from Zanzibar (such as Tippu Tip).[53] In addition, the Portuguese started buying slaves from the Omani and Zanzibari traders in response to the interruption of the transatlantic slave trade by British abolitionists.

Throughout the centuries, the Kenyan coast has played host to many merchants and explorers. Among the cities that line the Kenyan coast is Malindi. It has remained an important Swahili settlement since the 14th century and once rivalled Mombasa for dominance in the African Great Lakes region. Malindi has traditionally been a friendly port city for foreign powers. In 1414, the Chinese trader and explorer Zheng He, representing the Ming Dynasty, visited the East African coast on one of his last 'treasure voyages'.[54] Malindi authorities also welcomed the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1498.

18th-19th Centuries
During the 18th and 19th century B.C.E, the Masai people moved into what is now modern-day Central Kenya from a region north of Lake Rudolf. Although there were not many, they managed to conquer a great amount of Bantu-speaking peoples, who did not put up much resistance. The Nandi peoples managed to oppose the Masai, while the Taveta peoples fled to the forests on the eastern edge of Mount Kilimanjaro, along with the Kikuyu peoples, although they later were forced to leave the land due to the threat of smallpox. An outbreak of either rinderpest or pleuropneumonia greatly affected the Masai's cattle, while an epidemic of smallpox affected the Masai themselves. After the death of the Masai Mbatian, the chief laibon (medicine man), the Masai split into warring factions. Although Arab traders remained in the area, trade routes were disrupted by the hostile Masai. The first foreigners to successfully get past the Masai were Johann Ludwig Krapf and Johannes Rebmann, two German missionaries who established a mission in Rabai, not too far from Mombasa.

British Kenya (1888–1962)
British East Africa in 1909
The colonial history of Kenya dates from the establishment of a German protectorate over the Sultan of Zanzibar's coastal possessions in 1885, followed by the arrival of the Imperial British East Africa Company in 1888. Imperial rivalry was prevented when Germany handed its coastal holdings to Britain in 1890. This was followed by the building of the Uganda Railway passing through the country.[55]

The building of the railway was resisted by some ethnic groups—notably the Nandi, led by Orkoiyot Koitalel Arap Samoei from 1890 to 1900—but the British eventually built it. The Nandi were the first ethnic group to be put in a native reserve to stop them from disrupting the building of the railway.[55]

During the railway construction era, there was a significant influx of Indian workers, who provided the bulk of the skilled manpower required for construction.[56] They and most of their descendants later remained in Kenya and formed the core of several distinct Indian communities, such as the Ismaili Muslim and Sikh communities.[57]

While building the railway through Tsavo, a number of the Indian railway workers and local African labourers were attacked by two lions known as the Tsavo maneaters.[58]

At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, the governors of British East Africa (as the protectorate was generally known) and German East Africa initially agreed on a truce in an attempt to keep the young colonies out of direct hostilities. But Lieutenant Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, the German military commander, determined to tie down as many British resources as possible. Completely cut off from Germany, Lettow-Vorbeck conducted an effective guerrilla warfare campaign, living off the land, capturing British supplies, and remaining undefeated. He eventually surrendered in Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia) 14 days after the Armistice was signed in 1918.[56]

The Kenya–Uganda Railway near Mombasa, about 1899.
To chase von Lettow, the British deployed the British Indian Army troops from India but needed large numbers of porters to overcome the formidable logistics of transporting supplies far into the interior on foot. The Carrier Corps was formed and ultimately mobilised over 400,000 Africans, contributing to their long-term politicisation.[56]

In 1920, the East Africa Protectorate was turned into a colony and renamed Kenya after its highest mountain.[55]

During the early part of the 20th century, the interior central highlands were settled by British and other European farmers, who became wealthy farming coffee and tea.[59] One depiction of this period of change from a colonist's perspective is found in the memoir Out of Africa by Danish author Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke, published in 1937. By the 1930s, approximately 30,000 white settlers lived in the area and gained a political voice because of their contribution to the market economy.[56]

The central highlands were already home to over a million members of the Kikuyu people, most of whom had no land claims in European terms and lived as itinerant farmers. To protect their interests, the settlers banned the growing of coffee and introduced a hut tax, and the landless were granted less and less land in exchange for their labour. A massive exodus to the cities ensued as their ability to make a living from the land dwindled.[56] By the 1950s, there were 80,000 white settlers living in Kenya.[60]

Throughout World War II, Kenya was an important source of manpower and agriculture for the United Kingdom. Kenya itself was the site of fighting between Allied forces and Italian troops in 1940–41, when Italian forces invaded. Wajir and Malindi were bombed as well.

In 1952, Princess Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip were on holiday at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya when her father, King George VI, died in his sleep. Elizabeth cut short her trip and returned home immediately to assume the throne. She was crowned Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in 1953 and as British hunter and conservationist Jim Corbett (who accompanied the royal couple) put it, she went up a tree in Africa a princess and came down a queen.[61]

Mau Mau Uprising
Further information: Mau Mau Uprising

A statue of Dedan Kimathi, a Kenyan rebel leader with the Mau Mau who fought against the British colonial system in the 1950s.
From October 1952 to December 1959, Kenya was in a state of emergency arising from the Mau Mau rebellion against British rule. The Mau Mau, also known as the Kenya Land and Freedom Army, were primarily Kikuyu people.[citation needed]

The governor requested and obtained British and African troops, including the King's African Rifles. The British began counter-insurgency operations. In May 1953, General Sir George Erskine took charge as commander-in-chief of the colony's armed forces, with the personal backing of Winston Churchill.[62]

The capture of Waruhiu Itote (nom de guerre ""General China"") on 15 January 1954 and the subsequent interrogation led to a better understanding of the Mau Mau command structure for the British. Operation Anvil opened on 24 April 1954, after weeks of planning by the army with the approval of the War Council. The operation effectively placed Nairobi under military siege. Nairobi's occupants were screened and suspected Mau Mau supporters moved to detention camps. More than 80,000 Kikuyu were held in detention camps without trial, often subject to brutal treatment.[63] The Home Guard formed the core of the government's strategy as it was composed of loyalist Africans, not foreign forces such as the British Army and King's African Rifles. By the end of the emergency, the Home Guard had killed 4,686 Mau Mau, amounting to 42% of the total insurgents.[citation needed]

The capture of Dedan Kimathi on 21 October 1956 in Nyeri signified the ultimate defeat of the Mau Mau and essentially ended the military offensive.[62] During this period, substantial governmental changes to land tenure occurred. The most important of these was the Swynnerton Plan, which was used to both reward loyalists and punish Mau Mau.

Somalis of Kenya referendum, 1962
Further information: Somalis in Kenya
Before Kenya got its independence, Somali ethnic people in present-day Kenya in the areas of Northern Frontier Districts petitioned Her Majesty's Government not to be included in Kenya. The colonial government decided to hold Kenya's first referendum in 1962 to check the willingness of Somalis in Kenya to join Somalia.[64]

The result of the referendum showed that 86% of Somalis in Kenya wanted to join Somalia, but the British colonial administration rejected the result and the Somalis remained in Kenya.[65][66]

The first president and founding father of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta.
The first direct elections for native Kenyans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957.

Despite British hopes of handing power to ""moderate"" local rivals, it was the Kenya African National Union (KANU) of Jomo Kenyatta that formed a government. The Colony of Kenya and the Protectorate of Kenya each came to an end on 12 December 1963, with independence conferred on all of Kenya. The U.K. ceded sovereignty over the Colony of Kenya. The Sultan of Zanzibar agreed that simultaneous with independence for the colony, he would cease to have sovereignty over the Protectorate of Kenya so that all of Kenya would become one sovereign state.[67][68] In this way, Kenya became an independent country under the Kenya Independence Act 1963 of the United Kingdom. On 12 December 1964, Kenya became a republic under the name ""Republic of Kenya"".[67]

Concurrently, the Kenyan army fought the Shifta War against ethnic Somali rebels inhabiting the Northern Frontier District who wanted to join their kin in the Somali Republic to the north.[69] A ceasefire was eventually reached with the signing of the Arusha Memorandum in October 1967, but relative insecurity prevailed through 1969.[70][71] To discourage further invasions, Kenya signed a defence pact with Ethiopia in 1969, which is still in effect.[72]

The first president of Kenya
Further information: Presidency of Jomo Kenyatta and Jomo Kenyatta
On 12 December 1964, the Republic of Kenya was proclaimed, and Jomo Kenyatta became Kenya's first president.[73] Under Kenyatta, corruption became widespread throughout the government, civil service, and business community. Kenyatta and his family were tied up with this corruption as they enriched themselves through the mass purchase of property after 1963. Their acquisitions in the Central, Rift Valley, and Coast Provinces aroused great anger among landless Kenyans. His family used his presidential position to circumvent legal or administrative obstacles to acquiring property. The Kenyatta family also heavily invested in the coastal hotel business, with Kenyatta personally owning the Leonard Beach Hotel.[74]

Kenyatta's mixed legacy was highlighted at the 10-year anniversary of Kenya's independence. A December 1973 article in The New York Times praised Kenyatta's leadership and Kenya for emerging as a model of pragmatism and conservatism. Kenya's GDP had increased at an annual rate of 6.6%, higher than the population growth rate of more than 3%.[75] But Amnesty International responded to the article by stating the cost of the stability in terms of human rights abuses. The opposition party started by Oginga Odinga—Kenya People's Union (KPU)—was banned in 1969 after the Kisumu Massacre and KPU leaders were still in detention without trial in gross violation of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.[76][77] The Kenya Students Union, Jehovah Witnesses and all opposition parties were outlawed.[76] Kenyatta ruled until his death on 22 August 1978.[78]

Moi era
Daniel arap Moi, Kenya's second President, and George W. Bush, 2001
Further information: Daniel arap Moi, Presidency of Daniel Moi, 1978 Kenyan presidential election, 1988 Kenyan general election, and 1992 Kenyan general election
After Kenyatta died, Daniel arap Moi became president. He retained the presidency, running unopposed in elections held in 1979, 1983 (snap elections), and 1988, all of which were held under the single-party constitution. The 1983 elections were held a year early, and were a direct result of a failed military coup on 2 August 1982.

The 1982 coup was masterminded by a low-ranking Air Force serviceman, Senior Private Hezekiah Ochuka, and was staged mainly by enlisted men of the Air Force. It was quickly suppressed by forces commanded by Chief of General Staff Mahamoud Mohamed, a veteran Somali military official.[79] They included the General Service Unit (GSU)—a paramilitary wing of the police—and later the regular police.

On the heels of the Garissa Massacre of 1980, Kenyan troops committed the Wagalla massacre in 1984 against thousands of civilians in Wajir County. An official probe into the atrocities was later ordered in 2011.[80][clarification needed]

The election held in 1988 saw the advent of the mlolongo (queuing) system, where voters were supposed to line up behind their favoured candidates instead of casting a secret ballot.[81] This was seen as the climax of a very undemocratic regime and led to widespread agitation for constitutional reform. Several contentious clauses, including the one that allowed for only one political party, were changed in the following years.[82]

Transition to multiparty democracy
In 1991, Kenya transitioned to a multiparty political system after 26 years of single-party rule. On 28 October 1992, Moi dissolved parliament, five months before the end of his term. As a result, preparations began for all elective seats in parliament as well as the president. The election was scheduled to take place on 7 December 1992, but delays led to its postponement to 29 December. Apart from KANU, the ruling party, other parties represented in the elections included FORD Kenya and FORD Asili. This election was marked by large-scale intimidation of opponents and harassment of election officials. It resulted in an economic crisis propagated by ethnic violence as the president was accused of rigging electoral results to retain power.[83][84][85] This election was a turning point for Kenya as it signified the beginning of the end of Moi's leadership and the rule of KANU. Moi retained the presidency and George Saitoti became vice president. Although it held on to power, KANU won 100 seats and lost 88 seats to the six opposition parties.[83][85]

The 1992 elections marked the beginning of multiparty politics after more than 25 years of KANU rule.[83] Following skirmishes in the aftermath of the elections, 5,000 people were killed and another 75,000 displaced from their homes.[86] In the next five years, many political alliances were formed in preparation for the next elections. In 1994, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga died and several coalitions joined his FORD Kenya party to form a new party, United National Democratic Alliance. This party was plagued with disagreements. In 1995, Richard Leakey formed the Safina party, but it was denied registration until November 1997.[87]

In 1996, KANU revised the constitution to allow Moi to remain president for another term. Subsequently, Moi stood for reelection and won a 5th term in 1997.[88] His win was strongly criticised by his major opponents, Kibaki and Odinga, as fraudulent.[87][89] Following this win, Moi was constitutionally barred from another presidential term. Beginning in 1998, he attempted to influence the country's succession politics to have Uhuru Kenyatta elected in the 2002 elections.[90]

President Kibaki and the road to a new constitution
Further information: Mwai Kibaki, Presidency of Mwai Kibaki, 2002 Kenyan general election, and 2007 Kenyan general election
Moi's plan to be replaced by Uhuru Kenyatta failed, and Mwai Kibaki, running for the opposition coalition ""National Rainbow Coalition"" (NARC), was elected president. David Anderson (2003) reports the elections were judged free and fair by local and international observers, and seemed to mark a turning point in Kenya's democratic evolution.[89]

In 2005, Kenyans rejected a plan to replace the 1963 independence constitution with a new one.[91] As a result, the elections of 2007 took place following the procedure set by the old constitution. Kibaki was reelected in highly contested elections marred by political and ethnic violence. The main opposition leader, Raila Odinga, claimed the election was rigged and that he was the rightfully elected president. In the ensuing violence, 1,500 people were killed and another 600,000 internally displaced, making it the worst post-election violence in Kenya. To stop the death and displacement of people, Kibaki and Odinga agreed to work together, with the latter taking the position of a prime minister.[92] This made Odinga the second prime minister of Kenya.

In July 2010, Kenya partnered with other East African countries to form the new East African Common Market within the East African Community.[93] In August 2010, Kenyans held a referendum and passed a new constitution, which limited presidential powers and devolved the central government.[87]

Devolution of government and separation of powers
Further information: Administrative divisions of Kenya, Constitution of Kenya, and Presidency of Uhuru Kenyatta
Following the passage of the new constitution, Kenya became a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Kenya is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. The new constitution also states that executive powers are exercised by the executive branch of government, headed by the president, who chairs a cabinet composed of people chosen from outside parliament. Legislative power is vested exclusively in Parliament. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Government and politics under 2010 constitution
Kibaki era
Mwai Kibaki became the first president to serve under this new constitution while Uhuru Kenyatta became the first president elected under this constitution.

In 2011, Kenya began sending troops to Somalia to fight the terror group Al-Shabaab.[94]

In mid-2011, two consecutive missed rainy seasons precipitated the worst drought in East Africa in 60 years. The northwestern Turkana region was especially affected,[95] with local schools shut down as a result.[96] The crisis was reportedly over by early 2012 because of coordinated relief efforts. Aid agencies subsequently shifted their emphasis to recovery initiatives, including digging irrigation canals and distributing plant seeds.[97]

Kibaki ruled from 2002 to 2013.
Uhuru Kenyatta in 2014
President Kenyatta first term
After Kibaki's tenure ended in 2013, Kenya held its first general elections after the new constitution had been passed. Uhuru Kenyatta won in a disputed election result, leading to a petition by the opposition leader, Raila Odinga. The supreme court upheld the election results and Kenyatta began his term with William Ruto as deputy president. Despite this ruling, the Supreme Court and the head of the Supreme Court were seen as powerful institutions that could check the powers of the president.[98]

President Kenyatta second term
In 2017, Kenyatta won a second term in office in another disputed election. Odinga again petitioned the results in the Supreme Court, accusing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of mismanagement of the elections and Kenyatta and his party of rigging. The Supreme Court overturned the election results in what became a landmark ruling in Africa and one of the very few in the world in which the results of a presidential elections were annulled.[99] This ruling solidified the position of the Supreme Court as an independent body.[100]

Consequently, Kenya had a second round of elections for the presidential position, in which Kenyatta emerged the winner after Odinga refused to participate, citing irregularities.[101][102]

After 2018 Kenya handshake
The historic handshake in March 2018 between Kenyatta and his longtime opponent Odinga meant reconciliation followed by economic growth and increased stability.[103][104]

BBI Initiative
Main article: Constitution of Kenya § BBI Initiative
Between 2019 and 2021, Kenyatta and Odinga combined efforts to promote major changes to the Kenyan constitution, labelled the ""Building Bridges Initiative"" (BBI), saying that their efforts were to improve inclusion and overcome the country's winner-take-all election system that often resulted in post-election violence.[105][106]

The BBI proposal called for broad expansion of the legislative and executive branches, including the creation of a prime minister with two deputies and an official leader of the opposition, reverting to selecting cabinet ministers from among the elected Members of Parliament, establishment of up to 70 new constituencies, and addition of up to 300 unelected members of Parliament (under an ""affirmative action"" plan).[105][106]

Critics saw this as an unnecessary attempt to reward political dynasties and blunt the efforts of Deputy President Willian Ruto (Odinga's rival for the next presidency) and bloat the government at an exceptional cost to the debt-laded country.[105][106]

Ultimately, in May 2021, the Kenyan High Court ruled that the BBI constitutional reform effort was unconstitutional, because it was not truly a popular initiative, but rather an effort of the government.[105][106]

The court sharply criticized Kenyatta for the attempt, laying out out grounds for his being sued, personally, or even impeached (though the Parliament, which had passed the BBI, was unlikely to do that). The ruling was seen as a major defeat for both Kenyatta (soon to leave office), and Odinga (expected to seek the presidency), but a boon to Odinga's future presidential-election rival, Ruto.[105][106] On 20 August 2021, Kenya's Court of Appeal again upheld the High Court Judgment of May 2021, which was appealed by the BBI Secretariat.[107]"
"Rice Farming in Kenya
Rice is Kenya’s third staple food after maize and wheat.   Rice Farming in Kenya is estimated at between 33,000 and 50,000 metric tonnes, while consumption is between 180,000 and 250,000 tonnes. About 95 percent of rice in Kenya is grown under irrigation in paddy schemes managed by the National Irrigation Board (NIB). The remaining five percent is rain-fed. The average unit production under irrigation is 5.5 tonnes a hectare for the aromatic variety, and seven tonnes for non-aromatic varieties.


Government of Kenya Data
Rice Farming in Kenya – Seedling Production
To produce healthy seedlings, the following should be done:-
 Seed selection. Select plump and healthy seeds.
Seed pre-treatment. This is practiced to ensure better germination of seeds and better growth of
seedlings. It involves:

Seed disinfection. Hot water treatment is effective in destroying the nematodes, which cause white tip disease.
Seed soaking. In order to supply the required moisture for germination, shorten the germination period and reduce seed rotting.
Pre-sprouting. The seeds are drained and covered with grass for 24 to 48 hours. This ensures uniform seed germination, avoids over sprouting and allows air circulation for germination.
Rice Farming in Kenya – Sowing
Sowing about 80 to 100 g/m² is normal practice. The seeds are broadcasted uniformly. The nursery bed should not be submerged after sowing and a  seed rate of about 20kg/acre (50kg/ha) should be used.

Rice Farming in Kenya – Seedbed Preparation
Plowing should be done at least 2 weeks before sowing and flooding. Puddle 1 week before sowing and prepare a raised nursery bed. The nursery  bed should be drained the day before sowing to stabilize the surface of the soil.

Rice Farming in Kenya – Main Land Preparation
Under irrigation: Land preparation is carried out by flooding the fields to a depth of 10 cm and then cultivating by the use of a tractor. The land should be tilled and immediately flooded at least 15 days before transplanting or direct sowing. Under rain-fed situation: Land should be plowed twice and harrowed once.

Rice Farming in Kenya – Transplanting
Planting should be before the onset of long rains for rainfed rice. It is important to transplant from the nursery as soon as the seedlings are big enough. Seedlings are said to be ready for transplanting after a period of between 3 to 4 weeks depending on daylight, temperatures, and the variety.

Rice Farming in Kenya – Spacing
Seedlings are spaced according to the tillering ability of a variety.

Rice Farming in Kenya – Seedling Rate
Two to three seedlings for low tillering varieties.  one to two seedlings per hill are more suitable for good rooting and tillering. Higher seeding rates increase competition for the available nutrients hence should be discouraged.

Rice Farming in Kenya – Planting Depth
Practice shallow planting of about 3 cm depth for vigorous initial growth and will result in good rooting and tillering. Deep transplanting delays and reduces tillering resulting in non-uniform crop growth and ripening, resulting in yield losses. Seedlings should be transplanted in an upright position to allow correct tillering and rooting.

Rice Farming in Kenya – Main field water management
Water is applied to the rice field for the use of the rice plant and also for suppressing weed growth. For this reason, it is important to practice appropriate water management throughout the growing period of a rice crop. In lowland rice fields, water comes from rainfall and irrigation. Water is lost by transpiration, evaporation, seepage, and percolation. Prevent water loss by:

Repairing levees to minimize seepage.
Removal of weeds to avoid competition with rice plants for water.
Increasing the height of levees to prevent surface run-off water.
Rice Farming in Kenya – Pests and Diseases
Rice Diseases
Three Major Rice Diseases:

Rice yellow mottle virus  transmitted by beetles

Rice Pests
Main pests in rice include:-
• Stem Borers
• Leaf Miners
• Root Cutting Insects
Rice Farming in Kenya – Pests and Disease Control
Cultural methods
Clean seed
Crop rotation
Field hygiene
Biological control
Rice Farming in Kenya – Harvesting
Time from planting to harvest varies between 4 to 6 months. Rice is cut, swathed, threshed, winnowed and dried.

Rice Farming in Kenya – Storage
Rice should be stored in warehouses with good circulation of air, with no contamination of dust and water.