Producing corn in the off-season: it’s possible

Producing maize in the dry season in northern Benin in January is hard to believe when you know that there is only one rainy season between late May and late September. But it is possible.

The experience made in the new garden of the public elementary school of Bonsi in the village of Boko commune of N’Dali, allows us to affirm it. According to the school’s director, Marius Amoussou, the students planted some corn seeds at the end of October and the beginning of November: “We irrigated the seeds and weeded them when necessary. Today, we are happy to present you with an entirely satisfactory result.” As shown in the photo below left, some corn plants have produced up to three ears of corn.

Samadou Sidi
Samadou Sidi

The fruits have kept the promise of the flowers. For Samadou Sidi, agricultural advisor at the Hubi et Vinciane Foundation who helps the school to cultivate their vegetable garden, “the irrigation of the crops and the preparation of the soil with organic fertilizers (animal excrements) allowed us to obtain this result which can be replicated on large surfaces provided that there is water and that the crops are well irrigated and maintained”.

Maize production can be carried out all year round, regardless of the season. The three conditions to be respected are the presence of water, soil fertility, and good crop irrigation.