Maize is the staple food in Western Kenya, but it has been affected by a prolonged dry spell making farmers to live in despair because most of the maize are wilting before maturity as a result of the scorching sun.
As farmers go to their farms yearly to plant maize they expect high yields or rather good harvest from it but this year (2016) will seem to be different as most crops have been affected by the scorching sun that came a time when the maize were at the reproduction stage and needed rain.
When planting season approached way back in March most farmers planted the crop some stretching up to April with hopes that by August they will be harvesting and bid goodbye to hunger.
Farmers have suffered partial or total loss of their crop planted for the main grain season that runs from March to September.
As the year begun the whole region was partially affected by El Nino that was there from October last year (2015) to December and stretched to January 2016 that led to delay in planting, reduce planting areas and stifle crop development.
Farming has also been a challenge to many farmers till when the county government’s decided to distribute subsidized fertilizer and maize seeds to farmers at the same time some counties preparing lands for the farmers so as to realize good harvests that can help curb food insecurity.
This process was meant to ease farming and realize food security in the region but from the look of things it will not be that easy for farmers to cope with hunger since their maize crops have been affected by long dry spell.
Production declines are expected to be sharp in most parts whereby almost 90% of some farmer’s maize have been destroyed by irregular rains after planting. This will cause hunger that will result to poverty as many families rely on maize.
Farmers have already started suffering on the blow of maize price since it is escalating as each day goes by.
The county governments with the aid of the national government should look for ways into which they will deal with the predicaments of farmers.
For instance; help by proving food aid, mobilizing farmers to prepare planting the second season crops and encouraging farmers to plant drought resistant crops such as millet, sorghum and cassavas.