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Farmers now selling green maize

News By Titus Too and Edward Kosut | June 9th 2020 at 09:13:43 GMT +0300

Farmers in the North Rift are now selling green maize due to unpredictable markets and prevailing harsh economic situation.

Pick-ups, tractors and trucks are now a common sight in some rural farms as farmers dispose their produce for quick cash.

The rich agricultural region has recorded adequate rainfall and favourable conditions since the beginning of current planting season.

But farmers say unpredictabilty of dry maize prices after the government said it will no longer buy from them has forced them to sell their produce ahead of the normal harvesting season.

They say they still have last year’s harvest in stores and would rather use their farms for other short season crops like vegetables, tomatoes and legumes.

Kiplimo Lagat, the Nandi County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for agriculture, said farmers in the region have been enlightened through extension services and are slowly venturing into diversification.

Maize growing areas of Kaptumo in Aldai and Kabiyet in Mosop, Nandi County, and in Maili Nne in Uasin Gishu, are now popular destinations for green maize traders who transport the fresh produce to urban centres where it is commonly consumed as boiled or roasted.

Most economic activities have been curtailed by the Covid-19, prompting farmers to find alternative crops to plant in their farms to boost their income.

Some farmers said they have been forced to sell green maize to feed their children who have now been home for three months after schools closed abruptly in March.

Joseph Maiyo, a farmer in Kaptumo, said traders transporting green maize with lorries have been purchasing the produce at lower prices than they expected.

Harizon Mosonik, another farmer, said green maize fetches better prices than dry grain. He said there are no other additional costs that come with harvesting, shelling and storage.

He said delayed subsidised fertiliser forced him to reduce acreage under maize.

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