Farmers in Nyeri have been advised to begin preparing their lands for the planting season, even as the weatherman warns of below average rains during the March-April-May long rains period.
The Meteorological Department released the seasonal forecast of the March to May long rains, that show that much of the country will receive below-average rainfall. The Director of the Meteorological Department, David Gikungu, also announced that rains will start in the third week of this month, paving the way for farmers to start planting.
.“Below-average rainfall is expected over the Lake Victoria Basin, Highlands West of the Rift Valley, Central Rift Valley, Highlands East of the Rift Valley including Nairobi County, Coastal region, most of North-eastern and South-eastern Lowlands and Western parts of Narok, ” said Gikungu.
He added that most areas will have a largely poor distribution of rainfall in both time and space.
“The season is expected to experience a normal to delayed onset with poor distribution characterized by long dry spells over the areas expected to receive below average rainfall as well as in the ASAL region,” he said during a press conference in Nairobi.
But Nyeri County Director of Meteorological Services, John Muiruri, has advised farmers to take advantage of the rains (that began yesterday) by preparing their land in order to maximize the limited downpour expected during these this season.
He warned farmers against going back to the practice of planting slow maturing crop varieties to avoid losing their entire yield as has happened in the last five seasons of failed rains and come up with fast maturing crop varieties that are resilient to adverse effects of climate change.
Kenya has been battling her worst drought in over four decades, owing to worsening ecological changes blamed on Climate Change.