Alarm as Large-scale farmers in Trans Nzoia abandon maize for sugar cane
Large-scale maize farmers in Trans Nzoia are abandoning the cereal for sugarcane despite the region being the country’s grain basket.
The county produces at least 5 million bags of the crop annually from over 107,000 acres. However, this production is now under threat as farmers like Momanyi Nyairo, 70 and Teresia Karakacha, 40, stop growing the crop that they have planted for years.
For Nyairo, a farmer in Kiminini sub county who owns 950 acres, he has been cultivating maize for 40 years but he abandoned the crop last year after 50 per cent of his maize was attacked by fall armyworm.
“I have started planting sugarcane now on 80 acres and I am targeting to increase to more than 150 acres by June this year,” he explained.
Nyairo said the government has been silent on large-scale farmers, mainly focusing on small growers.
“In the past, there used to be agricultural extension officers who would visit farmers and advise them on better farming practices but today they rarely come and that is the reason why we are facing numerous challenges in cultivating maize,” he added.
Nyairo is optimistic that he will get ready market for his sugarcane as he has already been contracted by West Kenya Sugar Company.
Karakacha intends to convert 10 acres from her 15 for cane farming this year.
She said income from sugarcane is higher compared to that from maize farming.
“When you compare the input you put in maize farming, its a lot than what you get at the end of the day. This has forced us to take another approach in farming,” she said.
County executive in-charge of Agriculture Mary Nzomo acknowledged the changing trend, noting some farmers are growing the cane themselves while others are leasing their land.
Azariah Soi, the Kenya Seed Managing Director, said that there was need to look into the farmers’ problems and come up with policy on how land can be utilised in the region for seed production and food security.
Hits: 797https://farmerstrend.co.ke/alarm-as-large-scale-farmers-in-trans-nzoia-abandon-maize-for-sugar-cane/https://i2.wp.com/farmerstrend.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/sugarcane-farmers-in-kenya.jpg?fit=685%2C320&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/farmerstrend.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/sugarcane-farmers-in-kenya.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1#TrendingFarming NewsMaize FarmingCHALLENGES FACING SMALLHOLDER SUGARCANE FARMERS,history of maize in kenya,large scale maize farming in kenya,maize farming in kenya,maize farming in kenya pdf,maize harvesting seasons in kenya,maize output per acre,maize production in kenya 2018,maize production in kenya statistics,problems facing sugarcane farmers in kenya,Small Scale Maize Farmers In Western Kenya,sugar production in kenya,sugarcane farmers in kenya,sugarcane farming in kenya pdf,sugarcane farming profitability in kenya,sugarcane prices in kenya,sugarcane production per acre in kenya,sugarcane varieties grown in kenya,sugarcane yield per acre in kenyaLarge-scale maize farmers in Trans Nzoia are abandoning the cereal for sugarcane despite the region being the country’s grain basket. #FarmersTrendJohn Bujufarmerstrend@gmail.comAdministratorI am a web enthusiast, writer and blogger. I always strive to be passionate about my work. I started my work at the beginning of 2013 by engaging myself with detail reading and exchanging information regarding farming with others. Since then things and times have changed, but one thing remains the same and that is my passion for helping and educating Kenyan farmers, building a successful blog and delivering quality content to the readers. The particular interests that brought me in the world of blogging are gardening, farming and livestock.Farmers#Trend