UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
KENYA: Early rains catch farmers unawares
NAIROBI, 15 April (IRIN) - A report by USAID's Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) indicates that despite widespread rainfall in most parts of Kenya last month, intra-district rainfall distribution has been poor and farmers have been caught unawares.
"Rainfall quantity and distribution during April will be a critical indicator of the true quality of the season," FEWS warned in the report, received by IRIN on Thursday.
The earlier-than-usual start to the long rains season caught most farmers unprepared. Subsequently, "land preparation and planting are running concurrently" in many parts of the country.
The ministry of agriculture indicates however that the national maize supply is fair. "Depletion of current stocks is expected to coincide with the initial long rains harvest," the FEWS report said. Prices of maize and beans appreciated, while livestock conditions improved in major pastoral areas.
So far, the government of Kenya has distributed 2,700 mt of maize to the worst-hit pastoral, agro-pastoral and marginal districts of the country.
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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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