By TITUS TOO
There are fears of poor harvest in the North Rift due to high humidity and high cost of chemicals to control stem and leaf rust diseases.
Wheat farmers may realise low production unless they invest heavily in sprays to control the disease.
Eldoret East District Crop Officer Elizabeth Chepngetich said some farmers have reported leaf and stem rust in wheat farms.
“The disease is rampant now because of the humid conditions and the only way to control it is by spraying. The chemicals are, however, expensive with some fungicides costing Sh20,000 per five litres,” said the officer. She said the humid condition can also cause stunted growth hence the need to spray.
Agricultural officers who spoke to The Standard termed the current weather situation ‘erratic’.
Farmers in Uasin Gishu led by Silas Tiren, Paul Kipyego and Christopher Kiptum said the high cost of chemical sprays and other inputs would affect their profit levels.
“Heavy rains cause fertiliser leaching and farmers are forced to spend heavily on alternative folia sprays to achieve better produce,” said Tiren.
He added wet conditions also cause rust in wheat farms and farmers are forced to spray several times to reverse the conditions.
Tiren said unless wheat farmers spray their farms, their yields would be lower and appealed to the government to intervene and make the cost of the inputs affordable.
Farmers said the rains had also caused waterlogging in some regions making it difficult for machinery used in spraying to access the farms.