Farmers advised against hasty planting

Machakos residents have been advised against rushing to plant crops in their farms during the ongoing rains until the actual onset of the long rains.

The Machakos Sub County Agriculture Officer, Japhet Muthini said farmers should wait for the commencement of the heavy rains later this month before embarking on any planting in their farms.

The officer described the current downpour being experienced in the county and the country at large as a fleeting phenomenon that would subside within the next few days.

Farmers should desist from rushing to plant food crops in their farms as the current rains will soon be over. According to the meteorological department normal long rains will not be experienced in the country until March 25, a time when it would be safe for farmers to attend to their land, he told the press in his office.

But even as he spoke, scores of farmers in Machakos could be seen preparing their farms for planting.

A spot check by KNA near Mumbuni area within Machakos Central division established that many farms had already been cleared while others had already been planted with maize and bean seeds.

However, Muthini while dissuading farmers from planting during the current rains nevertheless advised them to plant drought resistant crops such as cassava that can withstand harsh weather conditions in case rains fail.

Meanwhile, some farmers have requested the county government to supply them with seeds and fertilizer ahead of the planting season, citing lack of money and the high cost of the commodities.

We prepared our farms quite early but we cannot go ahead with planting since we don’t have money to purchase seeds and fertilizers. We urge the county government to come to our aid and provide us with these farm inputs before it’s too late, said Monica Mbithi a resident from Kalama location who had visited the agriculture offices to seek for free seeds.

However, Muthini said they were still waiting for the supply of the farm inputs from the national government adding: We often issue free seeds and fertilizers to farmers but as of now we have stopped until we receive word from the national government since they are the ones who do the supply, he added.

Once the new supplies arrive, we shall liaise with local administration in relaying this message to citizens in order to enhance the distribution process, he added.

Source: Kenya News Agency