Farmers in Nakuru cheer as rain pounds

Farmers in Nakuru are in jubilation and euphoric mood after heavy rains pounded the county last night.

For the last two months farmers have waited, prayed and begged for rain and they watched as their maize withered, and looked like spring onions.

The County Meteorological Officer, Congo Thuo, said the delayed long rains are finally here, and he urged farmers to utilise them to the maximum by planting short term crops such as potatoes.

Thuo said according to their weather forecast, the rains in the County are anticipated to be normal, and that it is adequate rain for maize farmers. He was speaking to KNA today during a press conference in his office.

He urged dairy farmers to also plant fodder for their animals and harvests it during the dry season in September.

Apart from maize farmers who have stared at possible total loss of their crops, dairy farmers have lost their animals due to lack of fodder and hay.

Last month some farmers lost their animals to fodder which was poisonous, and since then farmers have been transporting their hay from as far as Kitale.

He also advised farmers to harvest the rain water, since due to climate changes rain may continue to be erratic, and rain-fed agriculture was no longer attainable.

A farmer at Rongai Sub-county, Julius Mwaniki, said they believe the rains will assist in the faster eradication of the dreaded army worm, which has already invaded 50 per cent of the 74,000 hectares under maize.

The last rains were in the month of May when farmers planted their maize but disappeared again until yester night.

A number of farmers in the County have accepted the reality of climate change, and they have shifted to green houses and irrigation.

However, their greatest challenge is lack of water, since the county has only river Malewa, and the borehole water is salty, hence cannot be used for irrigation.

Source: Kenya News Agency