News Archive
June 2024

Migori County Distributes High Yielding Rice Seeds To Farmers

300 rice farmers in lower Kuja Irrigation Scheme of Migori County have benefited from three tonnes of free Rice seeds worth over Sh500 000, courtesy of the county Government of Migori.

The seed consignment of the ‘Komboka’ rice variety was distributed to the beneficiaries by the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Agriculture Lucas Mosenda at Nyakweri National Irrigation Authority (NIA) offices in lower Nyatike region.

Mr. Mosenda noted that the initiative is the beginning of an elaborate and collaborative effort by the county government and partners to boost rice production in the region.

The Agriculture Executive assured farmers that the rice seeds provided are approved by the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) as a favourable variety for the Nyatike region and are expected to facilitate the local farmers increase their yields and income.

Mosenda further revealed that the county government of Migori has identified Nyatike as an area with high potential for rice farming and that the county leadership has a plan to turn round the crop’s production rate to reduce over reliance on imported rice.

“Nyatike region is an area of high interest when it comes to rice production. We have therefore put plans in place to ensure that rice farmers within this region are provided with enough inputs so that they realise high production and incomes,” explained Mosenda.

He said there is a lot of land available for rice production, regretting that the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) currently uses only 5,000 acres out of the available 19,000 acres that could be utilised.

The county government also plans to deploy equipment like threshers for rice harvest and tractors to modernize rice production in the area to make the region and the nation self-reliant in rice.

Migori County will also set up rice processing facilities like rice processing mills within Nyatike, instead of transporting harvested paddy to other counties for processing.

This move will not only reduce additional expenses in rice production and processing but also create job opportunities for the locals in the county and other counties neighbouring Migori.

“When we finally put up rice milling plants here in Nyatike region, we will be creating job opportunities for the youth in our county and our neighbours,” Mosenda said.

The official also emphasised that the county government plans to organise the farmers into cooperatives, to give them a stronger voice in the market and help them access affordable funding for inputs like seeds and equipment.

Peter Ochar, a rice farmer in Lower Kuja Nyatike Sub-County, hailed the county government for the support, noting that such inputs will help reduce the cost of production and also encourage others to venture into rice farming.

“We appreciate the efforts of the Migori County government led by our governor Dr Ochilo Ayacko in providing us with these high-quality rice seeds,” he said.

However, Ochar expressed concerns about the limited rice markets and delays in payments from national firms and cooperatives as they take more than expected time.

The farmer revealed that at times payments take up to six months or more to be made thus making their lives unbearable and also hampers their efforts in preparing their farms in time for the next season.

There have been a serious delay in farm preparations due to lack of cheap tractor services for ploughing their land in time.

The challenge has been that there are only few available tractors owned by individuals who sometimes move to other areas leading to high demand of these machines, leading to increased costs of hiring.

Samson Oremo, chairperson of the Lower Kuja Irrigation Scheme, echoed these challenges, adding that the low market price and interference from the middlemen forces farmers to sell their rice for as low as 40 shillings per kilogram of rice, a move that is only benefiting the brokers.

By Evans Shiundu and George Agimba QR Code

Published Date: June 6, 2024

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