By Joseph Muchiri
Famines triggered by prolonged droughts in parts of Eastern Province may be a thing of the past if farmers replicate the digging of water pans.
Eastern Province Director of Agriculture Joseph Ngatho said that since 2006 his department has been constructing water pans in the drier areas of the province as part of ensuring food security.
“The water pans have proven useful in harvesting run-off water during times of rain and storing that water for domestic use and crop production during the dry season,” said Ngatho.
He gave the example of Yatta area where farmers have replicated the use of water pans and have successfully converted a dry location to a horticultural production area.
The provincial director of agriculture said his department had already brought 14 mobile driers, which would be used to dry grains in the correct way.
“Through the driers, farmers will be in a position to ensure their grains do not retain excess moisture that causes aflatoxin,” he said.
On the reports of the presence of a new disease said to be threatening maize crop in the province, Ngatho said the department had dispatched officers to the field to ascertain the report and had taken action to mitigate against the effects that may occur from such a disease.
The fungus spreading the disease is said to spread by wind and water and attacks the leaf stripe.
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