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Farmers risk losing beans harvest as rains continue

As the rains continue to pound several parts of the Country, farmers who planted beans in the month of October last year in Kajiado County, risk losing their harvest, as the crop has already matured, but the ongoing rains are hindering harvest.

Unlike the usual high temperatures witnessed in the County in the month of January, the situation is now completely different, with heavy rains being reported across the County.

Though the rains subsided in the County from the second week of December, the rains have come back with intensity, just when the beans are about to be harvested.

“We were extremely happy when the first drops of rain fell, as Kajiado was predicted to have above-average rainfall. We, therefore, planted both beans and maize and anticipated a bumper harvest since we had lost five consecutive harvests due to failed rains. It is unfortunate, however, that the prolonged rains are destroying the beans we were so eager to harvest,” said Samuel Parkinyaro, a resident in Oloorsikon, Kajiado East Sub-county.

He notes that though they prayed for rainfall, they are now praying that it stops raining so that they can harvest the beans both for consumption and for sale.

“I inter-cropped maize and beans in my five-acre farm, but it is sad that the beans have started rotting in the farm due to the prolonged rainfall,” he says.

Due to its scarcity, a kilogram of yellow beans was retailing at Sh 200 in October last year which is double the normal price of Sh 100 per Kilogram when there is a good harvest.

Another farmer in Isinya, Kennedy Leshao, also says that the ongoing rains have caused part of his 2-acre farm of beans to rot in the farm, which necessitated harvesting before they are completely dry.

“I had to harvest the beans before they are completely dry to cut on losses. I have placed them in plastic bags to dry them when the sun shines before storage,” he says.

Livestock owners, however, are a happy lot as the rains are ensuring the availability of the much-needed pasture and water for their flock which were diminished by the recent drought.

In a seven-day cumulative rainfall forecast valid 16th-22nd January 2024, the Kenya Meteorological Department stated that rainfall is expected over the southern half of the Country.

According to the forecast, isolated heavy rainfall events may occur over some parts of the highlands east of the Rift Valley, including Nairobi County, the South Eastern lowlands, and the South Rift valley.

By Diana Meneto

 

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