Youth in Kerio Valley have called on the government to support them resume farming after insecurity disrupted their activities along Kerio River.
Led by Isaac Kosgei, the youths said that horticultural farmers along the valley abandoned their farms following insurgence of banditry in Kerio valley in 2016.
We have not grown anything in our farms since last year March when, banditry attacks started. In fact, we did not harvest our produce because they were destroyed before harvesting, said Mr. Kosgei.
Describing the farmers who abandoned their fertile farms along Kerio River in Marakwet-pokot border as impoverished, Kosgei said some of them have had to engage in menial jobs to survive after giving up promising future in farming.
He explained that some of the estranged farmers who leased land elsewhere have been unable to reap profits due to the high cost of inputs and would like to return to their farms.
Farms along Kerio valley were virgin and very fertile and did not require any fertilizers for the crops to thrive compared to farms they were now leasing that require fertilizer and supplemented irrigation.
Coupled with security risks and lack of water for the farms, Kosgei said roads to the markets in Lodwar and Loruk were impassable because they were not safe making Eldoret town their optional market.
In the past, we used to transport our produce to several markets through the West Pokot- Marakwet border but it is no longer safe, he said.
He further called on the Marakwet and Pokot leaders to come together and create peace to enable them restore their economic status.
Source: Kenya News Agency