May the best corn cob win

The judges table at the Miss Cob contest

The judges table at the Miss Cob contest

In the Equateur region, nearly 100 smallholder farmers took part in the Miss Cob Contest, hosted by PROSAVIDE (Promotion, Santé, Vivres, Infrastructures pour Demain), an agrimultiplier.

The contest, organized for smallholder farmers who use Samaru maize seed, awarded a prize to the farmer who grew the single corn cob with the most kernels. Participants, already submitting their best cobs, averaged 592 kernels, with the winner totaling 756 kernels on a single cob.

The number of kernels on a cob of maize is related with the yield. Large cobs with plenty of grains likely indicate higher yields. High-quality inputs – including seed – and good agricultural practices can have significant positive impacts on smallholder farmers’ yields. Farmers using Samuru seeds and good agricultural practices many times double their yield.

The celebration and Miss Cob Contest are ways to promote improved seed as a worthwhile investment for smallholder farmers to improve their yields, one that is worth the upfront cost.