Rice farmers in Ahero Nyando Sub-County are now crying over lack of a ready market.
Speaking to the press on Thursday in Nyando the farmers said their harvest is wasting away when that is what they depend on most.
John Otieno, a farmer at Ahero Irrigation Scheme and group leader in Block O Kanyumba Self Help Group, said they have more than enough rice in stores.
“We have a problem, there is more than enough rice in our stores but no market for them,” said Otieno.
According to Ahero Irrigation Scheme farmers boss Julius Okungu, more than 4000 kgs of rice is ready for market but no buyer. He revealed that they signed a contract with Lake Basin who is yet to buy their produce, appealing for help from the government.
“We have rice that is already on the drying floor almost 4000kgs, we thought the Lake Basin people will buy it but till now nothing we have not seen them,” Okungu noted.
Tonui noted that the 11 acres of rice were planted equivalent to Sh700,000 million.
“Since our farmers are generally rice producers, they have put 100 percent of their farms into production through the support of National Irrigation Board in the provision of irrigation infrastructure and sustainable delivery of water to the farmers,” said Tonui.
He explained that in a season, farmers produce an average of 26,000 tonnes of paddy rice equivalent to Sh 700,000 million in market value.
He further noted that this year, farmers allocated 100 percent of their farms but there is no market for their produce calling upon the government to intervene.
“We know the farmers have been in touch with the Lake Basin Development company but we ask them to come and rescue them, they are stuck,” Tonui added.
Tonui also called upon the National Produce Board and the Ministry of Agriculture to purchase the rice from farmers.
Rice is the second staple food after maize in Kenya and as Kenyans staring at hunger pangs multiple bags of rice is wasting in Ahero, Nyando Sub-County.