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Farmers to get disease-resistant maize seeds : The Standard

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Kenya Seed Managing Director Azaria Soi.
Kenya Seed Company has announced that it has made a breakthrough against Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease.  

Managing Director Azariah Soi said a new MLN-resistant maize seed variety, 6506, would be released in November. 
The seed will be distributed just in time for the next maize planting season in the south region, where farmers have been grappling with MLN for the past few years. 
“Farmers don’t have to worry again over the disease. We worked with other collaborators to develop the new maize seed variety. The seed is ready for distribution,” said Mr Soi.  
SEE ALSO :Firms in pact to raise maize yieldsThe MNL-tolerant variety has the potential to yield between 35 and 40 bags of maize per acre.  
“If farmers can plant the new maize variety on time and do all the necessary agronomic practices, such as weeding and application of sufficient fertiliser, they can harvest such a number of bags of maize. That is something we have tried and tasted,” said Soi.  
New variety
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He added that the new variety was suitable for both mid and high-altitude areas.  
“It might not flourish very well in lowland areas, where rainfall is inadequate. For such zones, we have 516, 513 and DH4, which we encourage farmers in those areas to plant,” Soi said.  
The MD also announced Kenya Seed Company had developed another seed variety, 6219, which has been under development in the research department for the last seven years and is ready to be released to the market. 
“We are in the process of bulking the new maize variety for the highlands. It has been tasted over several regions and we have confidence that it can yield 50 bags of maize in an acre of land,” he said.  
Soi explained the maize variety was developed with an eye on maximising output.  
The maize seed requirement in the country is 35 metric tonnes. 
“Out of this amount, Kenya Seed Company supplies farmers with 28 metric tonnes,” said Soi.

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Kenya Seed CompanyMaize Lethal NecrosisFarmers

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Health ministry has criminals, Kagwe admits

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BERNADINE MUTANU

By BERNADINE MUTANU
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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe Wednesday admitted that his ministry has criminals.

This is after an employee reportedly obtained personal protective equipment and Covid-19 testing kits valued at millions of shillings after forging tender documents.

“This building called Afya House has some very good people. It has some very committed people. It has people who work hard in very difficult circumstances, but this building here, has its fair share of criminals,” Mr Kagwe told journalists after briefing the country on the Covid-19 situation Wednesday.

The CS said the matter, alongside others involving officials at the ministry, is being handled by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

“Like a marketplace, there are a few mad cases here. We will unearth them as we move on,” he said.

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He told Kenyans to be wary of officials at the ministry “who are capable of awarding tenders for the supply of blood”.

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“It will be those mafisi that will tell you that you can do a deal with them to supply computers, personal protective equipment, pens and even blood. We know they are in here,” he said.

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Tunisia reopens cafes, restaurants as pandemic winds down

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XINHUA

By XINHUA
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After a lockdown of more than two months, Tunisia on Tuesday conditionally reopened cafes and restaurants as part of its partial lifting of the anti-coronavirus restrictions.

Under the government’s decision, customers have to take away with the ordered drinks and meals without staying in the cafes and restaurants, in order to avoid gatherings.

These conditions will continue to be applied until June 4, after which cafes and restaurants will resume their activities normally.

On May 21, Lobna Jribi, Tunisian minister in charge of major national projects, announced new measures to revive the economy.

Jribi told a press briefing that 75 percent of activities in the industry, services and construction sectors, which were previously closed to curb the spread of Covid-19, will resume activity on May 26.

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The gradual opening of the economy remains dependent on compliance with the preventive measures, including wearing masks, social distancing and hand hygiene.

As of Monday night, Tunisia reported no new Covid-19 case. So far, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country remained at 1,051.

The Tunisian government has imposed strict confinement measures shortly after the announcement of the first coronavirus case on March 2.

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Kindiki turns down new Senate appointment

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ALEX NJERU

By ALEX NJERU
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Immediate former Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki has turned down a new appointment to serve in the Senate Justice committee.

In a press statement, Prof Kindiki said he now wants to focus on serving Kenyans as the senator of Tharaka-Nithi County.

He said he was not interested of the new House responsibility that he came to know of through the press.

“I have learnt through the press that the Jubilee Party has recommended me to serve in another capacity in the Senate.

“I respectfully decline the offer. Henceforth, I want to focus on serving the people of Kenya as the Senator for Tharaka-Nithi County,” wrote Prof Kindiki.

The senator was ousted as Senate deputy speaker last week on accusations of being disloyal to the party and being disrespectful to President Uhuru Kenyatta who is also the party leader.

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Other senators affected by the changes announced by Senate Majority Leader Kang’ata Irungu (Murang’a) are Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Christopher Lang’at (Bomet), John Kinyua (Laikipia) and Linturi Mithika (Meru).

Cherargei was removed as chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, Kinyua from Devolution, Langat from Education and Mithika was removed from the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee.

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