- Kitui County met boss said the performance of the March-May rains season was between fair and poor.
- Besides the poor just ended MAM rains, Kitui county had been facing famine following the failure of previous five rains seasons.
Kitui County meteorological office has announced that the general performance of the just ended March-April- May rains oscillated between fair and poor.
The County director of meteorological service Daniel Mbithi said on Tuesday that it was however not all dull and gloom as farmers who heeded his climate information science advisory enjoy the prospect of good yield.
Mbithi said farmers in Kitui who planted short season drought tolerant crops as advised in the pre-MAM season advisory by his office faced the prospects of good harvest despite the poor rains.
“We are happy with the farmers who headed to the climate information science advisory we released ahead of the rain season. Today, they are happy because they will get good farm yields,” Mbithi told the media in his office.
“There are farmers who are champions of weather who I can say got things right. There were doubting Thomases who adopted a wait and see style even after we said the rain onset will occur at a certain time and called for dry planting or wet planting just at the onset,” Mbithi said.
The county met boss who was giving a review of the MAM season said it was regrettable that pessimistic farmers had a strange way of judging the information from the weatherman.
He said it was curious that they were still planting even to the time the rains stopped at the end of April.
“They thought we lied and wrongly believed that the rains would continue to June following a rumour of early El Nino which only occurs around December. Because of that, they believed there was going to be a lot of rain and continued planting,” he said.
He added that farmers who are strict adherents of climate information sciences, not only prepared their farms well as advised by his department, but planted drought resistant crops like pearl millet, green grams, sorghum and cowpeas. He said they have nothing to regret about.
Mbithi added that the drought resistant crops planted by farmers had long matured and in some cases harvesting was taking place.
“Sadly those who planted maize still need more rain at a time when the rains have already ceased,” he said.
Mbithi said the failure by some farmers not to adhere to the climate information advisory made it difficult to declare Kitui food secure. He however said he was certain that those who planted drought resistant crops were a happy lot.
“In developing and issuing weather advisories we work with agricultural officers. And, the feedback I am getting from them is that the farmers who adhered to what we told them are not complaining,” added the county met boss.
Kitui is part of the arid and semi-arid county whose residents are faced with serious food scarcity following the failure of the previous five rain season. The just ended MAM rains season marks the sixth rain season to underperform.