Rice farmers in Bunyala Sub-County have been urged to increase their crop production as the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) improves the required infrastructure.
Speaking during the commissioning of a rice store in Bunyala Irrigation Scheme on Sunday, the chairman of National Irrigation Authority Eng. Joshua Toro said that Western Kenya Irrigation Schemes have suffered losses due to flooding around Lake Victoria.
“We, therefore, decided to establish a big store with a large capacity,” he said adding that the current capacity of rice being produced cannot fill the store.
Eng. Toro urged the County Government to assist farmers to look for markets for their produce.
He said that there should be a rice mill at the Budalang’i constituency in Bunyala Irrigation Scheme so that the produce can be packaged at the source.
Bunyala Central Member of County Assembly Felix Omanyi thanked the Authority for the move adding that local farmers have incurred losses not only during floods but also during rains.
“These structures were erected in 1969 and they were supposed to hold harvest from 530 acres but as we speak now, our acreage is approaching 3, 000,” he said adding that there was an urgent need for a new store.
Omanyi urged the farmers to request the governor to establish a rice mill to cushion farmers from losses running to the tune of sh600 million.
He at the same time advised farmers to look for alternative markets for their produce instead of relying fully on the government.
“Let us check on the costing and even consider lowering our selling prices so that we can continue farming,” he advised.
By Salome Alwanda