Friday, May 24, 2024
Home > Counties > Farmers count losses worth Sh320 million in floods aftermath

Farmers count losses worth Sh320 million in floods aftermath

Farmers in Kisumu County are counting losses amounting to Sh320 million after floods destroyed hundreds of acres of crops in the area.

The crops among them maize, beans, sorghum, kales, rice and green grams were swept by floods dimming hopes of farmers who were looking forward to bumper harvests this season.

According to a report by the County Department of Agriculture, Nyando is the most affected, followed by lower Nyakach, Lower parts of Muhoroni, Kisumu East and parts of Seme.

In Nyando Sub-County where the floods displaced over 12,000 people after River Nyando broke its banks, farmers are yet to come to terms with the trail of destruction left behind by the disaster.

At Ahero farmers lost 500 acres of maize worth Sh18 million, 400 acres of sorghum valued at Sh9 million, 400 acres of beans worth Sh24 million and 25 acres of rice valued at Sh 900,000.

At Kobura in the same Sub-County 750 acres of maize worth Sh36 million was destroyed with an additional 250 acres of sorghum worth Sh7.5 million swept by the raging floods.

Maize farmers at Kabonyo Kanyagwal lost 500 acres of the crop valued at Sh27 million with an additional 500 acres of sorghum and 150 acres of rice valued at Sh7.5 million and Sh12.9 million respectively were also destroyed.

Other areas adversely affected in the sub county include Awasi/Onjiko and East Kano Wawithi where farmers are counting over Sh78 million in losses.

This brings to Sh257.3 million worth of crops lost in Nyando Sub-County alone posing a bit challenge on the area’s food security.

The total value of crops lost to floods in the other affected sub counties stands at Sh63.4 million.

Kisumu County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of Agriculture Ken Onyango said the upper parts of the county have not been affected.

The county government, he said, is in talks with the Ministry of Agriculture to find ways of supporting the affected farmers particularly those doing rice which is a mainstay for thousands of households in the area.

He said Kisumu was earmarked to benefit from the fertiliser subsidy programme to particularly boost rice farming but the support was yet to reach the farmers.

“We are following up with the relevant national government agencies for the fertiliser to reach farmers and support them to replant,” he said.

Besides floods, he said Quelea birds continued to pose a big challenge to rice farmers in the area.

In January, the Ministry of Agriculture through the crop protection and safety directorate embarked on aerial spraying to control 5.8 million Quelea birds which invaded rice fields in the area.

However, according to Onyango the exercise ended before the birds were contained.

“They had challenges procuring the chemicals. We are talking to them to see how best this menace can be contained to avoid further loss of the crop,” he said.

By Chris Mahandara

Leave a Reply