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Experts have warned that it will take some years before the maize lethal necrosis disease that destroyed hundreds of hectares of the crop is eliminated from the soil.
“Research by food scientists indicates that the disease will take another four years before it is cleared, from the soil,” Kenya Seed Company managing director Willy Bett said. He advised farmers to rotate crops to break the disease’s cycle.
Addressing a farmers’ day in Kapsabet, Nandi County, Mr Bett said the company would soon produce a seed variety resistant to the disease.
Grain farmers are contemplating reducing the acreage under the crop to avoid losses caused by unpredictable rains and rising input costs.
They have also dismissed new guidelines by the government restricting the purchase of subsidised fertiliser to 40 bags per grower.
“The rules are punitive to large-scale growers who require huge quantities of fertiliser,” said farmer Gorge Kili of Uasin Gishu County.
He urged the government to import more fertiliser to curb exploitation by middlemen who have increased prices ahead of the planting season.
The government introduced guidelines for the distribution of cheap fertiliser at National Cereal and Produce Board depots that entail setting up vetting committees to identify eligible farmers.
The Meteorological Department has cautioned farmers against planting early, saying the rains are likely to be late in most parts of the country.
PARASTATAL heads who signed the Mombasa port community charter risk being sacked if their agencies do not deliver on the contents of the new entity. The charter signed between the government and the private sector aims at improving the movement of cargo from the port into hinterland