Farmers in arable parts of West Pokot are delighted lot after heavy rains started pounding the area for several days now.
The farmers who were worried about the long dry spell that characterized the last months of last year and early this year said it is a reprieve for them now that the rains have started with indications that they will be enough to sustain crop germination.
Speaking to KNA, a farmer, who is also the Pokot South Council of Elders’ Chairman, Mastait Lokiles, noted that many farmers had prepared their land on time and planting is ongoing after it continued raining for two weeks now.
“Some farmers had developed cold feet following last year’s long rains that began at such a time but disappeared for some weeks hindering proper germination,” said Lokiles.
He argued that since the rains started falling there has been consistency thus driving many farmers in the region to start planting this early unlike other years when planting normally takes place from mid-April.
The farmers have lauded the government for supplying them the subsidised fertilizer that are going for Sh3, 500 per 50-kg bag.
“I want to ask the government to consider increasing the supplies of the fertilisers to the region so that many farmers can take them immediately the planting season is here with us,” said Lokiles.
Many farmers in the region registered for the subsidised fertilizers and there have been long queues witnessed at the Kapenguria National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depot.
Peter Mnangat said he had decided to plant maize on his farm after the rains fell for several consecutive days.
“As per this time there is a reasonable precipitation that will allow maize to germinate without any interruptions. We are hopeful this wetness continues through April so that those yet to establish their maize crops can do so comfortably,” noted Mnangat adding that by next week his crops will have started sprouting.
By Richard Muhambe