Residents of Mbeere are expecting a bumper harvest this year, thanks to the heavy rains that have been pounding the region.
Even though the semi-arid region is fertile and with vast farmlands, it usually suffers from failed crops due to harsh weather. The area has been hit by drought over the years.
Most farmers depend on rain-fed agriculture, which is unreliable due to shortage of water.
Residents often rely on relief supplies. However, this year, the crops are thriving and nearing harvest. “Farmers are expecting a bountiful harvest of maize, beans, cowpeas and green grams. Those engaged in horticulture are also making good returns. We also have adequate pasture for our livestock unlike last year when rivers dried up,” said Mr Alexander Mundigi, a community leader.
Mr Mundigi, who spoke at ACK Njarange yesterday, urged the national government to start construction of four irrigation dams earmarked for the county.
These are Rupingazi, Thuci, Kamumu and Thabana. They were launched by then Water CS Eugene Wamalwa in 2016. "That the dry Mbeere is likely to be food sufficient in the coming year is a clear indication of the immense potential this region has if the government can speed up construction of the dams. Mbeere can be a major food producer with irrigation," said Mundigi.
He further called on the county government to set up a local cereals board that would buy and store grains produced in the region and shield farmers from exploitation by middlemen.