FARM­ERS RE­DUCE CROP ACREAGE

The Star (Kenya) - - News General -

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.

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