Farmers in Meru sound alarm citing poor yields
SEE ALSO :Farmers want Sh39m loss probedMr Mutwiri, who owns more than 30,000 coffee bushes, said he had been producing between 150,000kg and 200,000kg, but in the last few seasons he had suffered massive losses. Mutwiri Nkonge, another farmer, said he and many other farmers had been adversely affected in the last few seasons after maize, coffee and other crop yields dipped. “We cannot understand the reason for the low harvests in the last three seasons. We are confused because we do not know if it is because of the fertilisers we are using or the soil fertility. What I know for sure is that it is not poor husbandry because our methods have not changed,” said Mr Nkonge at his Katheri farm. Received concerns Yesterday, Meru County Agriculture Chief Officer Dionisio Eruaki said she had received concerns from the agriculture office in South Imenti, where farmers had expressed doubt about the quality of fertilisers they used.
SEE ALSO :Poultry co-op to add value to farmers“Farmers had forwarded a complaint to him (agriculture officer) after buying fertiliser in Meru,” Mrs Eruaki said. Some farmers, like Mr Mutwiri of Mukarimu Coffee, have opted to go organic, giving fertilisers and pesticides a wide berth. “It is the safe route to ensure we do not continue to suffer crop failure. Last season, I got only 70,000kg from my farm yet I usually get between 150,000 to 200,000kg from my 30,000 trees,” Mutwiri said. Nkonge, who was in the company of his neighbours, said food security would be compromised if remedial steps were not taken. “It is important for the Government, through extension officers, to investigate what is happening, ensure that all the inputs in the market are up to the standard and also perhaps take soil samples for analysis,” he said.
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