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Farmers urged to take advantage of long rains

Farmers in Kirinyaga have been advised to take advantage of the expected rains and maximize on crop production through appropriate farming and land use management procedures.

Kirinyaga County Director of Metrological Services Peter Wambugu said farmers from different areas of the county should liaise with officers from the State Department of Agriculture for appropriate land use management.

“Farmers are also advised to work closely with the sub-county agriculture office in their locality for advice on the appropriate crop to be planted,” he said.

Wambugu said the county was likely to receive rains beginning the third week to fourth week of March with cessation dates between the third and fourth week of May 2022.

He said farmers in Kirinyaga County have been urged to plant immediately after the rains start for this season.

Wambugu made the remarks at Kerugoya Catholic Hall where he gave seasonal weather forecasts for March, April, and May saying he said the county was expected to receive slightly above normal rainfall.

The meeting brought stakeholders from different sectors to discuss the impacts of the weather on their daily activities with much of the effects mainly felt in the agriculture sector.

The director said cases of flooding in prone areas of the Tana basin within the county were likely especially in low-lying areas.

He said the County government is advised to clear drainages in good time to avert artificial flooding of the urban areas.

“The public is advised not to drive or walk through flooded rivers or moving water,” Wambugu said, adding that the county disaster operations were alert to avoid negative impacts that may arise.

He said farmers should also be encouraged to prepare and tap into rain water harvesting any time it rained in order to boost water availability in their homes.

He added that the impact of climate change has in the past put the farmers at risk for agriculture activities and it was important to guide them based on expected changes.

“We have invited people who participate in crop production, livestock, public works, and those who will be affected by the expected rainfall conditions,” he said

“This is a participatory meeting and we will advise farmers on the best seeds they can plant this season,” he noted.

He challenged the farmers to ensure no water is wasted and they should plant at the right time.

“Let no drop of water go to waste, plant immediately the rains start to maximize it,” he added.

Wambugu said the expected seasonal rainfall would reduce the chance of forest fires as well as increase the natural regeneration of forests.

A bee expert Mutuota Mugo said the period between March and May was the best season for bee keeping since this was the time the insects migrated from the dry area of Ukambani looking for food in the area of Mt Kenya.

Mutuota said farmers must also be advised to plant indigenous trees, which provide a good habitation for the bees, which in turn helps in carrying out pollination.

The one day workshop had been organized by Upper Tana Natural Resource and Management.

By Irungu Mwangi

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