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More Than 100 Acres of Rice Destroyed by Hailstones

Rice farmers in Kochia Ward, Rangwe Sub-County have been left counting losses after their crops were destroyed by heavy rains accompanied by hailstones.

The farmers who were expecting to harvest and sell their produce in two weeks’ time are now left with little to nothing to sell after the Friday incident.

Led by Juma Rapemo, the more than 300 farmers decried losses after the hailstones saying they had anticipated huge profits from the harvest.

“We were going to sell our produce at Sh30,000 for a 90-kilogram bag of rice and even higher because of high demand,” he decried.

It was alleged that the farmers had spent between Sh20,000 to 50,000 per acre to prepare their lands for planting.

They were to supply their harvests to schools with each farmer expecting 50 bags of 90kg respectively of the cereal.

Rapemo had dreams of building a house and clearing his children’s fees with his earnings.

He said that they had to sell what was left of their crops to cattle farmers, especially the dry leaves, to cushion themselves from total loss.

Another farmer, Rose Akumu just like others, reiterated that they had high hopes in their crops.

“The high expectation we had on the crops has been crushed because the rain made our crops fall off the stem, destroying them just 2 weeks before maturity,” noted the farmer.

They called on the county government to assist them in land preparation and planting by providing free mechanization services.

They also want support in controlling birds which have been invading their farms and destroying their crops.

By Linet Mwajuma and Sitna Omar

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