IN EASTERN AND COAST

Over 14,000 farmers to get payouts for crop failure

PS says they insured their crops, failure attributed to depressed rainfall

In Summary

• A Food and Nutrition Security report for January shows the farmers took crop insurance cover for maize and green grams during the 2020 short rain.

• The report projected that many will be compensated due to the poor performance of the crops.

Jane Muasi, a Ndengu farmer from Masyungwa in Mwingi North sub-county, Kitui, county displays her green grams while seeking a market at Masyungwa.
Jane Muasi, a Ndengu farmer from Masyungwa in Mwingi North sub-county, Kitui, county displays her green grams while seeking a market at Masyungwa.
Image: MUSEMBI NZENGU

 

Some 14,000 farmers from counties in lower Eastern and the Coast regions will get compensation from insurance firms for last year's crop failure.

A Food and Nutrition Security report for January shows the farmers took crop insurance cover for maize and green grams during the 2020 short rain.

The report projected that many will be compensated due to the poor performance of the crops. The report was released on Friday by the Ministry of Agriculture.

In the ASAL counties, the short rains season production of maize, green grams and cow peas is projected to be 77,66 and 72 per cent respectively.

Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga said the decline in production is mainly attributed to depressed rainfall.

"This is especially during the grain filling stage and reduced acreage under the crops.  Moreover, desert locusts also damaged 350 ha of maize and pearl millet in Tharaka Nithi and 1,000 ha of millet, cow peas, green grams and maize in Kitui South," Boga aid.

The PS said attack by quelea birds was also reported in Kitui and Makueni counties.

The assessment of the impact of the short rains in ASAL counties showed the short rains season is usually more reliable for crop production than the long rains season.

The main crops grown in these counties are maize, green grams and cow peas, beans, sorghum and pearl millet.

Overall, the report showed that due to poor performance of the short rains in 2020, the area under maize, green grams and cow peas declined to 83,79 and 78 per cent of the long term average respectively.

Moreover, limited access to farm inputs as a result of reduced income associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and the high cost of inputs also contributed to a decline in acreage.

Boga said Nyanza, Western, Central Rift and parts of Central regions experienced a moderate performance for most food crops. Harvesting is complete in all the counties.

In the Coast, Eastern, Northeastern and parts of Central, late planting due to delayed rains and poor rainfall distribution led to the overall poor performance of most food crops.

"Production decline in these counties is between 40 and 60 per cent of long term average and harvesting is expected to commence by end of February to mid-March 2021," the PS said.

The PS said the national food security situation is still stable for most commodities in terms of accessibility and affordability.

"For staple crops, the average to above-average 2020 long rain harvest experienced in most counties, the reduced food demand due to lost family incomes associated with Covid-19 as well as the closure of schools and colleges have contributed to sustained availability of most food items at the household level," he said.

"Moreover, the fair performance of the pasture and browses as well as water availability in most of the pastoral regions have contributed to good body conditions and productivity of most livestock breeds."