The County Assembly of Uasin Gishu on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, passed a motion asking the county executive to make plans of providing maize-drying services to farmers in the upcoming harvesting season.
In a motion moved by Tembelio MCA Evans Kapkea, the county legislators expressed concerns that with the anticipated El-Nino rains, farmers might not be able to dry their maize in open fields.
While Uasin Gishu is one of the country’s food baskets, most of the farmers still depend on sun-drying.
But with the predicted above-average rainfall in the October-November-December season, the MCAs say it might be a challenge for the farmers to dry their maize after harvesting.
The harvesting season is expected to start from the end of September.
“Concerned that heavy rains currently being experienced could occasion huge post-harvest loses…further concerned that farmers in the county have been drying their produce in open fields before transporting it to the National Cereals and Produce Board for sale, this condition may not be possible in the event the El Nino rains persist as predicted by the Kenya Meteorological department…” read part of the motion seen by Uasin Gishu News.
“This honorable house urges the County Government of Uasin Gishu through the department of Agriculture, Livestock, Agribusiness, Livestock and Fisheries to provide maize-drying services to farmers,” it added.
Projected maize harvest in Uasin Gishu
Maize farming is the main agricultural activity among Uasin Gishu locals.
In April 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture estimated that Uasin Gishu County had an expected maize production of 4.3 million bags from a targeted 106,906 hectares of maize plantation.
The projection is now at risk due to the anticipated heavy rains.
The county is usually dry during the harvesting season but the weather change has been noted as part of the ongoing global warming.