Following the recent heavy rains which pounded various parts of the country, Nyando sub county in Kisumu County witnessed devastating floods causing havoc in the nearby villages. Rice farmers in the area incurred losses after River Nyando bursted it’s banks destroying over 7,500 acres of paddy estimated at Sh400 million
It is a sigh of relief as rice growers in Nyando will benefit from 22.4 tonnes of seeds worth Sh6 million for the current planting season. The seeds will serve about 5,000 rice farmers in Nyando Sub-County.
The county government of Kisumu has acquired 2.4 tonnes of Arize Gold rice variety bought from Kenya Seed Company in Kitale at Sh2 million. The bags of seeds are already at the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) Ahero station.
According to Kisumu Agriculture CEC Gilchrist Okuom, another 20 tonnes of IR variety seeds from MIAD, Mwea are expected to arrive any time
“We are targeting to sell the produce to the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) who have allocated Sh660 million for the purchase of IR variety for schools, prisons and hospitals,” said the Agriculture CEC.
NIA Western Kenya Senior Manager Joel Tanui disclosed that NIA recently expanded the rice irrigation scheme farm by 2,200 acres by putting Mbega and Kabong’o areas under irrigation for rice production.
“Both Mbega and Kabong’o irrigation schemes will cover 1,200 acres and 1,000 acres respectively. We have recruited additional 2,400 rice farmers,” said Mr Tanui.
He, however, noted that the farmers need fertilisers along with the seeds.
Mr Tanui said the construction of Koru-Soin multipurpose dam is expected to boost irrigation.
“The dam will supply adequate water throughout the year,” he added
Mr Tanui adviced farmers in the region to plant rice between July and December, the off season for the birds to deal with the destructive quelea birds that periodically attack paddy fields.
“We realised between February and May their numbers are overwhelming and thus farmers incur a lot of losses,” said Mr Tanui