By Jakowiti Atwech
When the festive season began, many rice farmers in Nyando were optimistic that they would make good returns.
There was a great promise as a number of farms started registering bumper harvests from huge investments.
Farmers in West Kano were expecting a bumper harvest this season with the demand of rice attracting up to Sh3,400 up from the previous Sh3,100 per 50 kg bag, but little did they know the agony awaited them.
The erratic weather patterns marked by heavy floods of water submerged more than 1,000 acres of rice resulting to a loss estimated to be more than Sh65 million. The newly-planted seedlings were not spared either.
Stagnant high levels of water denied farmer access to their farms, with almost all the farmers at the scheme facing a huge blow by the floods.
The few who harvested their crop in early November managed to get a few sacks of the commodity.
Plantations in the scheme are subdivided into blocks with a rational planting seasons. The few who harvested their crop in early November managed to get a few sacks of the commodity.
Several other farmers narrated the painful ordeal they went through during the heavy rains that lasted for several days leaving a huge trail of destruction.
Some of them were looking forward to the fortune to pay school fees come January, but the painful ordeal they went through make them regret the heavy investment, which included spending over Sh50,000 in each of the farms to plant and manage the crop, which eventually turned into a waste.
One victim whom we talked to was hoping to get at least Sh100,000 for each of the parcels, which has since gone down the drain.
Ernest Abuto, who was looking forward to use his rice fortunes to pay school fees for his two children pursuing higher education, said he has been left broken.
Beside the floods, farmers in this region have also been counting huge losses following the destruction of thousands of acre by the small yellow weaver birds which are known to fly in huge flocks in search of early maturing cereals.
They are now appealing to both the National and County governments to come to their rescue.