Farmers call for subsidies ahead of planting season

Farmers count lossesFARMERS in Nakuru County are all system ready for the planting process despite the financial and climatic challenges they are undergoing.

According to John Aming’a, a farmer at Mzee Wanyama area in the outskirts of Nakuru county, the high price of seeds, fertilizers and other farm inputs may lead to farmers opting for low quality seeds hence poor quality cum low yields, an issue that will worsen the food insecurity situation Kenya is struggling with at the moment.

“The government should chip in and provide subsidized seeds and fertilizers, otherwise, we shall be left with no option than planting homemade seeds that will end up costing the farmers in terms of the quality and yields by the end of the day,” Said Aming’a.

A 2kg bag of maize seeds was retailing at Kshs 250 a time like now last year, while the same is going at Kshs 360 this year. Farmers say that the price is too much for them and that the government should seek ways to ensure a reduction in prices of the same.

Zephania Wainaina, the sales & Marketing Director for MEYA Agri Trading Limited, one of the maina dealers in agricultural inputs and outputs in the county says the high prices of the maize seeds are as a result of government directive for seed dressing mechanism to protect the seeds from destructions by the warms and insects after planting and before germination.

To add up to the pain to farmers, the climatic condition is proving to be a not conducive one.

Joyce Oroo, also a farmer at the Mzee Wanyama area says that, in the month of March last year, the rains had already fallen and they had already planted. This year, the rain is yet to come and planting may be done in April.

“Last year at a time like now, rains had already fallen and we had planted, this year we may end up waiting for a little longer, this means that we shall harvest late and that adds up to the food insecurity risk.”

The unreliable rains are attributed to the global warming and the touch is felt all over the world.

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