Thursday, November 30, 2023
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Farmers urged to produce more to avert hunger

Farmers in Kisumu County have been asked to take advantage of the short-rains season and produce more food to avert a looming food crisis stemming from poor yields during the last harvest.
Data from the county’s department of agriculture indicates a slump in the production of most crops, with maize crop achieving only 40 per cent of the targeted quantity during the last harvest.
County Agriculture Technical Support Manager Mr. Sylvester Oketch blames the depressed yields on multiple unfavorable factors ranging from failed rains, pests and disease invasion to use of poor quality inputs.
“This year the rains were very erratic. We expected long rains lasting from April to June. The rains lasted a shorter period compared to the past years leading to the declined production,” said Oketch
Several sub-counties that grow the midland crop varieties including Muhoroni, Chemilil, Kisumu West and Upper Nyakach however recorded slightly good production, noted Oketch when KNA paid him a visit in his office.
On the flipside, he added, where Seme and Kisumu East returned a fair harvest, Nyando and Nyakach almost registered total crop failure.
The Manager has advised local farmers to change dependence on maize farming and embrace diversified agriculture by planting alternative crops like sorghum, wheat and millet in order to shore-up food security in the region.
“At least they should plant other crops that are drought resistant so as to ease the pressure on maize, “he said.
He affirmed that the county government has provided the farmers with incentives in terms of subsidized fertilizer and seed and was committed to ensuring they access extension services at the grassroots.
Oketch however challenged the local farmers to stop overreliance on rain-fed agriculture and to adopt modern farming practices including use of certified seeds and fertilizers that would boost their harvest.
By Atieno Melody/Oyugi Lorna

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