The stand-off between the Kenya Seed Company and farmers at Ololunga area in Narok South Sub-county seems not to end soon after farmers in the area protested alleging that the crop failure experienced in the area was because of bad seed planted.
The farmers accused the seed company of selling substandard maize seeds that have yielded very little returns causing huge losses to the farmers who mainly depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
Ms Veronica Ngiza alleged that there has been a total crop failure, a situation that has never been experienced before, attributing it to substandard seed that they bought from Kenya Seed Company.
“We planted 6213 and 624 hybrid seeds purchased from the Kenya Seed company but it has not yielded any crops. The situation is very frustrating and we believe the crop failure was caused by the poor seeds we planted,” said Ms. Ngiza.
She called on the government to intervene and give them food, predicting food insecurity as the crop had completely failed.
Simon Ngoitoi reiterated that this year, there has been total failure of maize production that has brought a lot of losses to the farmers who majorly depend on maize for their livelihood.
“I have lived for many years in this area and I am one of the famous farmers in this area, however, I have never seen such a situation where the whole crop failed. We suspect that the failure is caused by poor seeds,” he said.
However, the Kenya Seed Company Managing Director Fred Oloibe defended his company saying the problem of crop failure caused by poor rainfall distribution in the region.
Speaking to KNA over phone, Oloibe accused the farmers of airing their complaints to the media instead of visiting their offices in the county to file their complaints.
“I suspect the farmers have a hidden agenda because no one has ever called me or reported to our office in Narok about the crop failure. How come the farmers are only interested in airing their complaints to the media,” wondered Oloibe.
The MD was in Narok a month ago to visit a farmer who had raised concern over the viability of the seed after his farm was invaded by head smut disease.
The MD took time to clarify that the head smut disease was because of environmental challenges, which had no relations with the kind of seed planted.
He defended his company saying they produce satisfied seeds that are treated with pesticides and are disease resistant.
By Ann Salaton