Kenyan farmers urged to plant more during the short rains


Farmers in Juja Sub-county of Kiambu County in Kenya are being urged to plant more vegetables and wind break plants over the period of short rains. This is manly because these crops are more resistant to rains and strong winds.
According to local media reports, John Njoroge, the Director of Kenya Institute of Organic Farming (KIOF), an NGO working with community in Juja, said that the best activity that farmers in the county can get themselves engaged in was planting new crops such as vegetables, maize and pumpkins as they are more adaptable to short rains as well as heavy rains as their roots have a firm soil holding capacity and therefore cannot be swept away easily.
The Director further advised that Sorghum was also drought resistant and adaptable to most climatic zones and soils across the country and was therefore conducive. He explained that Sorghum can grow well with as little as 25 mm of rainfall which was achievable to most areas in Juja.
Njoroge also noted that local indigenous varieties were less prone to bird damage therefore making it friendly for farmers whom he advised to buy seed varieties suitable for their regions. Mr. Njoroge however warned that they should seek advice from Agricultural Research Stations or extension workers from the county Government of Kiambu.
Farmers were advised to buy Migyera variety, which is CMD resistant from KALRO research stations near them. Pigeon peas, he noted, was drought resistant and grows well in dry areas with as little as 650 mm of rainfall.
Njoroge further added that farmers should avoid growing crops such as tomatoes as they can be destroyed easily by the rains and therefore would be a waste of their efforts.