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Farmers urged to take advantage of El-Nino

29 September 2015, 08:11 Geoffrey Kimagut

Narok - Farmers in Narok County have been advised to take advantage of the predicted El- Nino rains by borrowing loans from the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) to do extensive farming.

Narok County Executive Member in Charge of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Richard Birir also asked farmers to take advantage of the expected rains to plant a variety of crops and buy more livestock to benefit from the rains.

“Let us major on the positive impact of El- Nino instead of looking at the destructions the rains could cause,” said Birir.

Speaking to the News24 in his office, Birir urged the farmers to avoid borrowing loans from other financial institutions adding that their interest rate is quite high as compared to AFC's.

“2015's short rains season is likely to be enhanced in most parts of the County with varied levels of impacts in the socio-economic sectors. We can reap maximum benefits from the rains if the farmers are well prepared,” said Birir.

He also noted that Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND) would be reduced due to the extended rains hence encouraging farmers to plant the crop in large scale.

The executive member said the County government is enhancing livestock disease control, surveillance and good animal husbandry practices to curb losses.

Read Also: Insurance industry prepared to mitigate El Nino losses, says IRA

“I urge farmers to plant fruit trees like avocados, mangoes and passion fruits. They should also plant bamboo trees, potatoes, nappier grass and finger millet which will do very well with the rains,” said Birir.

The County Director of Metrological Services, Peter Runanu said there is likelihood of extreme events like flash floods occurring in Narok Town, Duka Moja, Suswa, Nturumeti, Mosiro and Nairegie Enkare.

He said the September rains being experienced in Transmara sub Counties will continue while the onset of rains in the other parts of the County is expected in the first and second weeks of October.

Runanu said there are three categories of expected rainfall performance for various areas saying category one will receive rainfall between 101mm to 200mm which is predicted to be normal. Category two will receive between 201mm to 300mm which is predicted to be above normal, while category three will receive 301mm and way above which is above normal.

“Narok Town and its surroundings is in category one, most parts of Narok South in category two whereas Mau area is in category three,” he said.

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