Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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Maize farmers in panic over unreliable long rains

Maize farmers in parts of West Pokot County are a worried a lot after long rains that are always expected in the beginning of the month of April failed.

The farmers who had prepared their farms early are now hanging on hope that the rain will come sometime but there is fear of food insecurity for the year ahead.

Some farmers who dared to plant their maize before the rains are afraid that they might have to replant as most of the seeds never germinated, adding to their farm input cost.

“I planted my maize one week ago after it rained once. Some few seeds have germinated but the population is not good as expected. I will have to replant,” lamented Jackson Kiprop, a maize farmer in West Pokot Sub County.

Benson Mashon from Sook in Kipkomo Sub County said he had decided to risk planting after some rain fell although it was insufficient to propel any germination.

Mashon said the rains being experienced are so depressed that most farmers who depend on rain fed agriculture are likely to suffer losses.

“We are just crossing our fingers since the amount of humidity in the soil since mid-March or early April when rains were expected to descend is so low that our crops may fail to germinate,” he posed.

The farmers argued that by this time of the year torrential rains would be falling and that is why some farmers had decided to plant their grains in anticipation.

By Richard Muhambe

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