Monday, November 7, 2011

Poor returns from farming are discouraging farmers

Farmers in the North Rift are having difficulty selling their maize as the market has been flooded with the commodity, resulting in a decline in prices. This comes at a time when the country is faced with a starving populace.
Maize prices in most parts of the region have dropped from Ksh 3,400 per 90kg to Ksh 2,7oo following the harvest of this season’s crop. Retailers who have been interviewed attributed this decline in maize prices to a bumper harvest last season due to favorable environmental and weather conditions and importation of the grain from a neighboring country under the Common Market Protocol.   
The ongoing harvesting of maize in parts of the North Rift region has also contributed to a market glut and consequent drop in their prices.
It has become unrewarding to invest in grain production when the returns are low amid the rising cost of living fueled by inflation.
As a remedial measure to revert recurrence of this situation, farmers should embrace diversification in their farming. They should consider diversifying into horticulture, dairy farming and fish farming which are equally if not more lucrative. This is a new perspective youths should look at agriculture with in order to increase chances of profiting from the activity and spread their losses.  

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