Farmers in Narok advised

The Meteorological department has warned farmers in parts of Narok North Sub County against planting crops since the ongoing rain was not sufficient to mature the crops.

Speaking to KNA, the County Director of Meteorology however, advised farmers in other parts of the county such as Narok West and South and the larger Transmara to go on with their planting saying the rains in their areas is adequate.

Runanu said the rains in parts of Narok North such as Ntulele, Mosiro and around Narok town will subside in about a week from now, which is not sufficient for planting.

Heavy rains have been pounding the area, and farmers have been asking whether they should plant, while those who have already planted are wondering if their crops will mature with the rains.

We call this grass rain, it’s usually short with an interval of about two to three weeks, but farmers can however go on in preparing their farms for planting in March, he said.

The long rain season which starts early in the year in many parts of the country is an important rainfall season as the bulk of the countrys food is grown during this period, while short rain season which starts later in the year is important for growing food to supplement the long rain season harvest.

The CDM said Narok and the entire Central Rift Counties are likely to have an onset of the rains during the second week of March and then take a break to resume later in April.

Runanu however, advised farmers in Central Rift to plant early maturing crops in view of the changing weather patterns in a bid to improve food security in the region.

He also urged the county government to put measures in place that will ensure the rain water is preserved in dams, pans and other storage facilities so that it can be used during the dry season for minor irrigation, watering animals and domestic use.

Runanu advised farmers in the county and the Central Rift to search and make use of information on the weather in the oncoming short rain season in a bid to maximize on their production.

the CDM said the weather had become erratic and such information was important for the farmers in planning when and what crops to plant, when to plant and to store fodder for the livestock to avoid losses such as those that are experienced when rains fail after farmers have planted.

The planning can also assist in averting weather-related disasters, he said.

He said this information is available in their offices which are located in each county and Agriculture and Livestock offices in the County.

Proper planning will help in making maximum use of the rains, or putting mitigation measures in the parts of the counties or regions that will receive below average rain that will also be poorly distributed both in time and space and which cannot sustain livestock or crops, he said.

The County weather officer denied allegations that their forecasts have sometimes misled farmers, saying theirs was a scientific research that gives more than 70 per cent of accuracy.

Source: Kenya News Agency