Agricultural activities are gradually picking up in Ijara Sub-County, following heavy rains, currently being experienced in the region.
According to the Ijara Sub-County Agriculture Officer Sadiq Gure, the residents have now realized the importance of diversifying their agricultural practices to include crop farming among others, noting that local farmers, particularly women have created several kitchens gardens in their residential areas to supplement their food needs.
However, Gure said the farmers were facing a major challenge of invasion by wild animals such as zebras, porcupines and warthogs, posing a threat their crops.
Meanwhile, agricultural extension officers are educating the farmers on the importance of rain fed agriculture.
“These farmers are doing well, they only need some sensitization on the best farming practices as well as availability of little fertilizer and some chemicals to control the emerging insects,” said Gure, adding that soils in the area remain largely fertile and do not require much manure.
He called on development partners and non-governmental organizations involved in food security to supplement farmers’ efforts by initiating irrigation farming and utilize the big chunk of land lying idle in the region for crop production.
One of the farmers, Abdi Ali fondly referred to as Mzee Abdi, appealed to the County of Government of Garissa to supply farmers with farm tools like wheel-barrows, jembe and pangas among others to boost their farming.
Among the common food crops grown in the area include Sukuma wiki (kales), green grams, bananas, maize, watermelons and other variety of farm produce.
A section of farmers who spoke to KNA said if given the necessary support and impetus particularly in irrigation farming, they could turn the area into the bread basket for North Eastern Kenya.
By Mohamed Dahir