FARMERS REDUCE CROP ACREAGE
Farmers have reduced the land they use to grow crops for commercial purposes for the October-November-December short rains season for fear of La Niña.
The National Drought Management Authority November early warning report states the previous season’s crop failure also contributed to the low acreage.
The report also showed that the acreage in Nyeri county is lower because farmers are concerned about the high cost of inputs and low income which have limited land preparation in Kwale county.
“In Baringo, the area under irrigation is lower because of falling river water levels while in Embu, some seeds are said to be rotting due to the late start to the season. There have been recent harvests of maize in Baringo, Samburu and West Pokot, and of sorghum and wheat in Laikipia,” the report states. Dr Johnston Irungu, director of crops in the Ministry of Agriculture, said harvesting and purchasing of maize by the National Cereals and Produce Board in parts of the North Rift are ongoing, with a 90kg bag of maize selling at Sh3,000.