Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Maize production down in Kenya

Costly farm inputs , such as the price of fertiliser , plus insecurity in Kenya's key food production regions are threatening the country with starvation, agricultural experts warn.

Farmers displaced by post-election conflict and cattle-rustling are hesitant to return to their pieces of land because of fears of a possible replay of the violence. As a result, about half of the agricultural land in North Rift, the key maize producing area, has not been prepared for the planting season this month . In Trans Nzoia, which normally produces 60 per cent of the country's maize requirements, agricultural experts forecast a deficit of 500,000 bags - if conditions favour farmers. However, the figure could be as high as three million bags. In Uasin Ngishu, North Rift, the area agricultural officer Grace Kirui predicts a shortfall of 600,000 bags this year. And in Kericho, only one third of the farmers have planted, according to the district agricultural officer Khadija Baraza. Thus, the country may be faced with a five million-bag food deficit - a situation that threatens to wipe out the current grain reserves by August. Some farmers in Lugari, Uasin Ngishu and Trans Nzoia are already anticipating severe shortages by July and are holding on to their maize until the producer price goes up.

1 comment:

blackstone said...

this is horrible news! The global cost of bread has skyrocketed in every country, it's ridiculous.