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Experts warn of looming famine

19 June 2013, 15:35 Oduor Omondi

A total of 1 170 hectares of land out of 3 300 hectares that had been planted with maize, sorghum, rice and vegetables in Nyando District have been destroyed by the changing flood and dry seasons.

Nyando District Agricultural Officer, Thaddeus Ouko projected that there will be a major reduction of the anticipated amount of food production this season owing to the perennial floods followed by a dry spell.

Ouko said the reduction translates to an estimated loss of more than 14 000 bags of 90Kg maize of the original target production of 30 000 bags.

He put the damage to rice, vegetables, rice and sorghum at 70% but warned that there could be a huge deficit in food production in Nyando after farmers finally harvest their crops.

"This could force the government to purchase additional bags of maize to meet the prevailing demands in Kisumu County," he noted.

He disclosed that the government is currently undertaking River-training for Awach, Miriu, Asawo and Nyando alongside the on-going dykes construction in mitigation against floods.

Ouko advised local farmers to grow trees along the river banks so as to minimize soil erosion and curb the perennial floods.

He has also urged Kisumu County Governor Jack Ranguma to prioritize flood control in Muhoroni, Nyando and Nyakach, and at the same time asked farmers to diversify their activities to increase their production levels.

"Our farmers should also practice inter-cropping to improve soil fertility and increase crop yields. 

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