Crop Farming

Short Season Maize Varieties in Kenya.

Early Maturing Maize Varieties in Kenya.

maize varieties in kenyaThe Kenyan climate is diverse, from the rich highland regions to the dry lowland regions. The difference in climate calls for the existence of crops that are specifically adapted to a particular region. This has led to many scientific innovations of superior maize seeds as compared to our locally grown varieties. In turn, the yielding capacity has increased and ultimately ensured food security. Have a look at some of these short-season maize varieties in Kenya.

Lowland varieties

PH1           70–100 days

PH4           70–100 days


Dryland varieties

DH01          70 days

DH02           70–100 days

DH04           75–100 days

KDV-1          75–90 days

Pioneer 3253   90–100 days

SC DUMA 43  85–90 days


High Yielding Maize Varieties in Kenya.

ADC 600-23A    68 bags (90kg bags per acre)

H6218                56 bags (90kg bags per acre)

H6213                52 bags (90kg bags per acre)

H6210                50 bags (90kg bags per acre)

H9401                50 bags (90kg bags per acre)

 KH600-14E       50 bags (90kg bags per acre)

KH600–16A       50bags (90kg bags per acre)

Let us take a look at the most appropriate Maize varieties for the different regions of Kenya.



-Highland Maize varieties / High Altitude varieties.

(Rainfall 1000 – 1500 mm, Altitude 1700 – 2300 m)

Highland Maize varieties may be grown in regions like; Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Murang’a, Kakamega, Kiambu, Nandi, Kericho, Molo, Kisii, Nakuru, Marakwet, and Laikipia. Examples of these varieties are;

1. Hybrid Seed Maize H6218 Kenya Seed Company

  • This variety does well in areas of high altitude (1500 –2800m)and has a maturity period of 160– 210 days.
  • A high-yielding variety capable of producing 56 bags (90kg bags per acre).
  • It has a very high standing power.
  • It has a strong disease resistance.

maize varieties in kenya

2. Hybrid Seed Maize H6213Kenya Seed Company

  • The variety does well in areas of altitude 1500–2800m and takes 160–210 days to mature.
  • It produces double cobs making it have a  high yielding  capacity of 52 bags (90kg bags per acre.)
  • It has a high standing power but is relatively lower than that of H6218.
  • It also has a strong disease resistance but can easily get rust.


 3. ADC 600-23A –  Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC)

  • It produces double cobs with a yielding capacity of 68 bags per acre(90kg).
  • It does not fall easily.
  • It has a strong resistance to Leaf blight, Rust, and Grey leaf spot diseases.


4. KH600-14E – Freshco (improved H614D)

  • It produces 50 bags per acre (90kg) outyielding H614D.
  • It is tolerant of Grey Leaf spot disease and is not easily attacked by weevils.
  • Has an excellent husk cover.
  • Droops at maturity reducing grain rot.


5. KH600–16A –Freshco

  • It has a yielding capacity of 50 bags per acre with a maturity period of 140-180 days.
  • Very good standability.
  • Tolerant to Grey Leaf Spot (GLS) and Leaf blight.
  • Has a good husk cover.
  • Droops when dry.


6. KH 600-15A –East African Seed.

  • Produces double cobs yielding 47 bags (90kg per acre)
  • Matures in 145–148 days.
  • Very good standability.
  • Has good husk cover.
  • Droops on maturity
  • Tolerant to Grey Leaf Spot, Maize Streak Virus and blights.


7. 600–15A – East African Seed.

  • Has a yielding capacity of 45 bags per acre.
  • Good standability.
  • Has a good husk cover.
  • Maize cob droops when dry.
  • No lodging.



        -Transitional zone Maize varieties

These are maize varieties that are mostly grown in the highland areas. Good examples of these varieties are;

1. H520 Kenya Seed Company.

  • Its maturity period lies between 120–150 days.
  • Does well in areas of altitude 800–1700m and produces 34 bags (double cobs).
  • Disease tolerant (Leaf rust, Grey leaf spot, and Maize streak virus.
  • Excellent husk over.


2. H624 Kenya Seed Company.

  • Requires an altitude of 800–1700m.
  • The maturity period of 120–130 days.
  • Has a yielding capacity of 34 bags.
  • Disease resistant ( leaf blight, Grey Leaf Spot. and rust )
  • Excellent husk cover.

maize varieties in kenya

3. H6506Kenya Seed Company

  • Maturity of 110–130 days.
  • Has large grain producing 34 bags.
  • Requires an altitude of 800–1700m.
  • Has a short-standing power (does not fall easily).
  • Resistant to Grey Leaf Spot and Maize Lethal Necrosis.
  • Tolerant to drought.



Medium altitude varieties.

( Rainfall: 800 mm and above Altitude: 1200-1600m )

These are varieties that are commonly grown in regions like; Kakamega, Kisii, Bungoma, Busia, Siaya, Homa Bay, Bondo, Nandi, Kericho, Bomet, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Machakos, and Meru. Examples of these varieties are;

1. KH 500-33A – Freshco

  • It’s known for large cobs and stalks producing 40 bags per acre.
  • It has a maturity period of 120–140 days.
  • It has good standability.
  • It is disease resistant( Maize Streak Virus and Smut disease).


2. WH 402 –  Western Seed Co.

  • A superior hybrid seed yields 40 bags per acre.
  • Has a  maturity of  130-160 days.
  • Slightly tolerant to Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease.

maize varieties in kenya

3. KH 500-13A – Freshco

  • Produces 40 bags an acre.
  • Maturity is 120–140 days.
  • Tolerant to Maize Streak Virus, leaf blight, and leaf rust.
  • Good standability.


4. WH507 – Western Seed Co.

  • It produces Maize with big cobs yielding 35 bags per acre.
  • Matures within a period of 120–135 days.
  • Good for green maize (remains green longer).


5. WH 403 – Western Seed Co.

  • Yields 35 bags per acre.
  • Maturity is 120-135 days.
  • Good husk cover.
  • No Lodging.


6. WH505 – Western Seed Co.

  • Yields 30 bags per acre.
  • Maturity is 120- 150 days.
  • Tolerant to drought.
  • Tolerant to most leaf diseases.


7. H513Kenya Seed Company

  • Requires an altitude of 800–1700m.
  • Maturity is 110–130 days.
  • Produces 24 bags per acre.
  • Weak tolerance of diseases (Maize streak virus).


8. H517 Kenya Seed Company

  • Requires an altitude of 800–1700m and has a maturity period of 120–150 days.
  • It is able to produce 30 bags an acre.
  • Has a good husk cover.
  • Tolerant to foliar diseases and pests.
  • Ideal for irrigation.
  • Tolerant to cob rot and MSV.


9. H519( New)Kenya Seed Company

  • Needs an altitude of 800–1700m and matures between 120–135 days.
  • Yields 30 bags an acre.
  • Has a good Maize streak virus and Grey leaf spot resistance
  • Has good shelling percentage
  • Has excellent grain quality.
  • Good husk cover.



Lowland varieties / Pwani Hybrids

maize varieties in kenyaThese maize varieties are suitable for areas like; Malindi, Mtwapa, Mombasa, and  South Coast. Examples of these varieties are,

1. PH 1 Kenya Seed Company

  • Requires an altitude of 1–1200m.
  • Has an early maturity period of  70 –100 days.
  • Yields 20 bags an acre.
  • Drought tolerant.
  • Has a better husk cover.
  • Can be intercropped.


2. PH 4Kenya Seed Company.

  • Requires an altitude of 1–1200m.
  • Early Maturity 70–100 days.
  • Produces 24 bags.
  • Tolerant to most leaf and ear diseases.
  • Has an excellent husk cover.
  • Tolerant to lodging.
  • Drought resistant.



Dryland Varieties.

These are Maize varieties that are grown in areas such as; West Pokot, Kerio Valley Lamu, Mpeketoni, and Nyanza. Examples of these varieties are;

1. H532( New) – Kenya Seed Company.

  • Does well in altitudes of 800–1500m.
  • Matures in 110–130 days.
  • Produces large grains yielding 30 bags an acre.
  • Tolerant to Grey leaf spot.
  • Drought tolerant.

maize varieties in kenya

2. DH08 ( New) Kenya Seed Company.

  • Suitable in areas of altitude 800–1500m
  • The maturity period is 100‐120 days.
  • Produces 28 bags.
  • Good standability.
  • Tolerant to ear rots.


3. DH04Kenya Seed Company.

  • Does well in areas of altitude 800–1500m.
  • Matures in 75–100 days.
  • Produces 24 bags.
  • Short drought resistant.
  • Good standability.
  • Good husk cover.



  • Open-pollinated variety developed as katumani Composite.
  • Has early maturing 75-90 days.
  • Yields 17 bags per acre.
  • Produces high-quality seeds.
  • Drought tolerant.
  • Good standability.
  • Good husk cover.
  • Resistant to Maize streak virus.


Pioneer Maize Varieties in Kenya.

1. P3506W.

  • Altitude of 1000m‐1800m
  • Good grain quality (large cobs with heavy kernel)
  • Very good yield 40 bags
  • Good husk cover (Protects cobs from grain rot and external pests)
  • Tolerance to diseases

maize varieties in kenya2. Pioneer Maize Seed 30G19.

  • Good grain quality ( large cobs).
  • Drought tolerant hybrid.
  • Very good husk cover.

3. Pioneer P3812W.

  • Gives high yields in areas of Medium altitude.
  • Maturity period is 135–145 days.
  • Very good grain quality (high kernel weight) hence high yielding capacity.
  • Good standability
  • Disease tolerant( foliar and cob diseases) however rust needs to be managed at an early stage.
  • The cobs droop.

4. Maize seeds Pioneer 3253.

  • It has early maturity of 90–100 days
  • Produces good yield under irrigation  (40 bags)

5. P2809W.

  • Does well in areas of altitude 1000‐1800m
  • Very good grain quality – (doesn’t weevil easily)
  • High Yielding power 40bags per acre.
  • Good husk cover which protects cobs from external pests

6. P2848W.

  • Good standability.
  • Drought resistant.
  • Slower leaf drying (stay green) ensures maximum starch formation.


maize varieties in kenya

Dk Maize Varieties in Kenya.

1. DK 90-89

  • Grown in highland regions.
  • Maturity 90–120 days
  • Produces quality grains
  • Excellent standing power
  • Resistant to diseases Grey leaf spot, Maize Streak Virus, and blight although rust needs managing.

2. DK 777

  • Suitable for Medium to Mid-high Altitude (1400 – 1900m) areas.
  • Good standability
  • Good grain quality ( produces double cobs)
  • Tolerant to diseases (Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease. Good tolerance to leaf diseases)
  • Suitable for both hand and machine harvesting.

3. DK 8031

  • Takes 3 months.
  • Drought resistant
  • Produces 34 bags


Kenya seed company maize varieties.

1. Highland Regions.

  • H614D,
  • H6213,
  • H629 ,
  • H9401,
  • H6210,
  • H6218,
  • H628.


2. Transitional zones

  • H520,
  • H624
  • H6506


3. Medium Altitude Varieties

  • H513,
  • H516,
  • H517,
  • H519 (New)
  • H528.


4. Lowland varieties (Pwani Hybrids)

  • PH 1
  • PH 4

maize varieties in kenya

5. Dryland Varieties

  • DH01,
  • DH02,
  • DH08 ( new),
  • H532 ( new)
  • DH04.

Other Kenya Seed Company maize varieties.

Highland varieties.

1. SC Twiga 83.

  • Produces double cobs yielding 56 bags per acre.
  • Matures in 6 months.
  • Good standability.
  • Good tip cover.


2. SC Twiga 81

  • Yields 55 bags per acre.
  • Matures in 6 Months
  •  Semi flint grain texture
  •  Resistant to blight and & rust diseases.


3. SC Tembo  73.

  • Yields 52 bags per acre
  • Good for Silage.
  • Has semi flint grain texture.
  • Has good tip cover.
  • Resistant to Grey Leaf Spot and Maize streak virus.


Transitional zone variety.

1. SC Simba 61

  • Excellent grain quality
  • Yields 45 bags per acre
  • Matures in 125-135 days.
  • Tolerant to Maize streak virus.
  • Has good shelling percentage.


Medium altitude varieties

1. SC Punda Milia 529

  • Good grain quality (high density) yielding 40 bags per acre.
  • Matures in 120-125 days
  • Good tip cover.
  • Good streak and leaf spot tolerance.
  • High shelling percentage.


2. SC Punda Milia 53

  • Long cobs with good grain quality (high density).
  • Yields 38 bags per acre.
  • Matures in 120-125 days
  • Good tip cover.
  • Resistant to Maize streak virus and Grey leaf spot.


Low land and Dryland Varieties.

1. SC Sungura 301

  • Under good management the variety yields  30 bags per acre.
  • Maturity is  72-80 days
  • Good tip cover.
  • Drought and heat  resistant.


2. SC Duma 43

  • Matures between 85-90 days
  • Produces 30 bags under high maintenance.
  • Has a good shelling percentage.
  • Drought and heat resistant.


Good for Silage

  • SC Tembo 73.


Early Maturity Maize Varieties.

  • SC sungura 301
  • SC Duma 43
Drought-resistant maize varieties in Kenya
  • DH01
  • DH02
  • DH03
  • DH04
  • DH08(New)
  • H532(New)
  • PH1
  • PH4
  • KDV-1
  • KDV-6
  • DK 8031
  • SC Duma 43.



Best Maize Variety for silage in Kenya

It is important to choose the right corn silage for your animals. Corn Silage is a major source of forage that determines the health and productivity of the animals. When selecting the corn for your silage, you should consider the yielding capacity, maturity period, and nutritional quality of the corn.

-Yielding capacity.

Choose a variety with a high yielding capacity to ensure maximum forage.

-Nutritional Quality.

The corn silage variety you chose should have high energy content. That is to say,  it should have nutritional qualities like Neutral Detergent Fiber digestibility (NDFd) and starch digestibility.

-Maturity period.

Late maturing Maize varieties are better than early maturing varieties. Moisture is also needed in the production of quality silage and its recommended to harvest the corn when the amount of moisture is high.

-Disease Resistance.

It is important that the variety has a strong disease resistance to avoid damage to the corn which will, in turn, affect the quality of the silage.


Due to weather conditions such as heavy rains and strong winds choose a variety with a strong standability to avoid damage to the plant.


  Examples of varieties that are suitable for silage are ;

  • Hybrid maize 6218
  • Pioneer 3812W
  • Pioneer 30G19
  • Pioneer 3253
  • KH 500-13A
  • P2848W
  • SY594


Types of Maize seeds in Kenya today.

  • Hybrids

H614D, H628, H520,  H624, H524, H525, H526, H513, H515, H516, H517, H518, H519, H521, and H522.


  • Open pollinate varieties

Katumani, Coast composite, Makueni, Dryland composite 1, Maseno double-cobber.


  •  Local varieties

These are  numerous  but here are the some examples Nyandarua, Cheberon,Migori, Amanyala,Kikamba , kinyanya, Mdzihana,Mengawa, Mgiriama.


Syngenta Maize Seeds Kenya.

1. SY6444.

  • Maturity in 130 to 135 Days.
  • Suitable for highland, transitional and Medium altitude regions.
  • Good tolerance to foliar diseases, Grey Leaf Spot and Maize streak virus.


2. SY5944

  • Maturity in 125 to 130 Days.
  • No lodging.
  • Good tolerance to foliar diseases.


3. SY594, Kenya.

  • Produces double cobs hence high yielding capacity.
  • Ears droop at maturity reducing grain rot.
  • No lodging.
  • Resistant to Maize streak virus, Cob rots, common rust, leaf blight, and grey leaf spot.



maize varieties in kenyaMaize Prices and costs of seeds today.

90 KG maize price in Kenya

The price of maize in Kenya is not constant. The staple food’s price fluctuates on different conditions like drought, reduced imports, government agricultural policies, and political influence. As of March 2022, the price of a 90kg bag was between KES 3000–3300.


Dry Maize Prices in Kenya. What is the average range in the price of a 90kg bag of maize?

The price of dry Maize in Kenya ranges between KES 2500–2800 per bag.


Duma 43 Maize Variety Price in Kenya.

A 2kg bag goes for KES 800


Green Maize Prices in Kenya

By 2nd July 2020, the price of green maize was between  2,520 and 5,040 for a 115kg bag.




Desmond Wekesa is the director of Agripreneur, with experience in new methods of farming and digital marketing. His background in digital marketing informs his mindful but competitive approach in the online-agriculture space. Desmond is fueled by his passion for understanding the best methods to network and achieve ones goals of advertising. He considers himself a ‘forever student,’ eager to both build on his knowledge in agriculture and stay in tune with the latest digital marketing strategies through continued hard work. You can email him HERE.

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