The senate Ad-hoc committee on Maize led by its chairperson and who is also the Uasin Gishu senator Margret Kamal, on Monday 15th October 2018 made a visit in Nyamira county get views from the public on the possible causes of maize shortage in the country.
During this important session of interacting and engaging with famers and fact finding on this major food for the residents, it was noted that for the last five years, the small scale farmers in the region have seriously recorded reduced harvest of the commodity due to the lack of subsidized maize fertilizer that is usually provided by the government.
“Madam chair it’s very disappointing that the government provides fertilizer but we can’t reach it because the stores are very far from town, we ask this committee when you shall be tabling this report in the senate , do recommendation that we get stores in every ward so as it can be easier to access this important farm input” said Mr Mong’are a maize farmer in Nyamira
Mrs Kamal said that Nyamira like Uasin Gishu and other areas in the country has one centralized store at Nyansiongo in Borabu subcounty and it gives farmers a challenge to access fertilizer from the area.
Mr John Nyachieng’a who is a maize farmer, noted that the outbreak of army warms alias “maize Aids” is a serious menace that farmers have faced across the county despite the efforts the county government has put to cope up with the situation, farmers are yet to get a lasting solution to the problem.
“It’s a nightmare for us Nyamirans who are maize ugali lovers, we need the government in collaboration with the county government to put more effort in research and find the possible means we can drive out this worm that is giving us a big challenge in maize farming” said Nyachieng’a
Governor John Nyagarama who officiated the function noted that there is land scarcity in gusii hence most of the farmers only plant maize for their own consumption and that despite the changes in weather and outbreak of diseases ,his government has encouraged her residents to do alternative farming and by providing them with tissue culture bananas, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes ,rearing of animals ,bee keeping and also poultry keeping will as well fight food shortage crisis in the area as the residents will get balanced diet and alternative meal at the same time can sell the surplus.
“Our people no longer depend on maize alone for we have ensured that there is alternatives as we try to continue on soil tests, better bleeds for maize seeds to be planted and we promise there will be better yields in the years to come” said Nyagarama.
The county executive committee member of Agriculuture Mrs Peris Mong’are said asked farmers to avoid using harvested maize as seeds for planting for this won’t fight maize disease instead use recommended parked market seeds which can yield better results.
“Let farmers use proper means of farming, use all fertilizers and let them consider to top dress and I believe we shall have enough maize for our own use and for selling” said Mong’are
Nyamira senator Okong’o Omogeni and West Mugirango Mp Vincent Kemosi collectively promised to ensure that fertilizer cartels will not be allowed to keep on swindling what is meant for the farmers and as well will fight to ensure there is proper payment of maize farmers by the government for them to enjoy profits of their hard work.
Other senators from the committee who engaged with farmers in this visit were Michael Mbiro (Tranzoia), Moses Wetangula (Bungoma) and Christopher Lang’at (Bomet).