As the dry season continues to ravage some parts of the country, farmers in West Pokot have been urged to start preparing their farms in order to be ready for planting when the rain comes.
West Pokot County Director for the Meteorological Department, Wilson Lonyang’ole, noted that the though onset of the rains has yet to begin, a little rainfall might be experienced at the end of March, and urged farmers to prepare their land for the planting season.
“I urge our farmers to use the two months remaining before the planting season in April to prepare their farms. We have not had any rainfall for the past one and a half months, but we are hopeful that it will improve in the coming weeks. We will keep our farmers informed of any weather changes,” Lonyang’ole said.
He noted that the dry spell being witnessed in many parts of the country has been greatly felt by many farmers across the country. He urged farmers to remain calm as the rainy season is experienced soon.
Lonyang’ole pointed out that many water sources have dried up, leaving many farmers not knowing what to do for their livestock and the little vegetables they have on their farms, which are in dire need of water to survive.
He noted that the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, is doing all it can to ensure that more boreholes are established so that farmers can benefit from them and ensure that no livestock is lost during this dry spell.
As the government prepares to release the subsidized fertilizers, he advised farmers to prepare their farms early enough so that they can receive the fertilizer when the government releases it.
Lonyang’ole said that they were ready at the Meteorological Department in West Pokot to deliver any news to the farmers so as to give them an advantage when the rainy season comes.
“As the government prepares to release the subsidized fertilizers, we want to advise our farmers to get ready by preparing their farms so that when the planting season begins, many farmers will not be stranded trying to get the fertilizers and also make good use of the rains,” he advised.
The South Pokot Council of Elders’ Chairman, Mastait Lokiles, noted that many farmers were preparing their farms for planting, while others were on the verge of finishing tilling their land in readiness for the planting season.
Lokiles asked the government to start releasing the fertilizer so that the farmers could acquire them early in readiness for the planting season when the rains come.
“I ask the government to consider releasing the fertilizer to the farmers as early as now so that many farmers can take them immediately and use them during the planting season,” said Lokiles.
He further lauded the government for the fertilizer which has yet to be released, claiming that this time round the farmers were very ready to make good use of the fertilzer.
“I want to further thank the government for its willingness to assist across the country,” the chairman of the council of elders said.
He further noted that many farmers in the region have registered to receive subsidized fertilizer and asked the government to ensure that all genuine farmers benefit from the fertilizer.
Lokiles reiterated that many parts of the country are experiencing drought, as the rainy season has yet to be experienced in the last two to four months in some parts of the country.
By Anthony Melly and Ian Langat