Brace for vegetable shortage after rains destroyed farms

A trader hawks sukuma wiki (kales) cuttings in Kisii town. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Vegetable farmers from Kinungi, Nakuru county have warned of acute shortage of fresh vegetables in the coming months due to the effects of ongoing heavy rains. 

They said heavy rains have affected the production of kale, unions, spinach and cabbages despite growing demand.

Farmers who rely on growing vegetables are struggling to raise school fees and have resorted to going for a Sh1,500 bursary allocation per student.

Naivasha East MCA Stanley Karanja said farm produce worth millions of shillings was rotting in farms due to the heavy rains pounding the area.

He regretted that the heavy rains and flash floods from neighboring Nyandarua County had left a trail of destruction in the area.

“This region serves Nairobi and the Coast in terms of fresh produce supply and with the destruction of the crops, consumers should brace for a biting shortage and higher prices,” he warned.

Karanja urged farmers to be vigilant and called for the draining of dams that are threatening to breach the capacity to avert disaster similar to what was witnessed in Mai Mahiu three weeks ago.

Speaking after distributing bursary cheques to Form One students, he said that many parents who depend on farming are suffering.

“We support the one man-one shilling-one vote initiative as it will increase bursary allocation to constituencies, currently we are offering a bursary of Sh2,000 which is inadequate,” he said.

Zipporah Nyambura, a farmer, is counting losses after the heavy rains destroyed her crops. “Many of us cannot afford to pay school fees due to the losses incurred following the heavy rains,” she said.

James Kabono, a local leader, said besides the farms, the road network had been damaged and there are fears that some dams could burst in the coming days.

Pastor Peter Thungu said the price of fresh produce will shoot up because the demand is high against low supply due to effects of the heavy rains.

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