Modern farming techniques increase rice production in Kenya

Rice farmers in Kisumu County are ecstatic after reaping bountiful crop returns as a result of government interventions and the use of modern farming technology.

Between June 2020 and February 2021, rice production from the area’s over 42 schemes increased from 15 to 35 bags of 80 kgs per acre.

During this season, over 22,400 metric tonnes of paddy rice worth Sh. 800 million were harvested.

“Previous efforts to address rice farmer challenges and improve rice production have succeeded in increasing production levels to take advantage of the huge market demand that exists locally,” Dr. Omanga said.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries supplied 20.8 metric tonnes of certified rice seeds worth Sh. 4.8 million through the State Department of Crops Development and Agriculture Research.

The National Government consignment benefited approximately 3,500 rice farmers in the sub-counties of Nyando, Nyakach, Muhoroni, and Kisumu East. These were planted on over 2,600 acres of rice plantation schemes throughout the region.

water utilisation in order to boost the economic empowerment and living standards of local rice farmers.

Farmers have been encouraged to use certified rice varieties rather than traditional ones. Furthermore, they use improved agronomic practises such as planting in rows, applying fertiliser on time, and using recommended rates.

Crops are now protected from insect pests and diseases, as well as harvested on time with modern combine harvesters.

However, with the doubled rate of production, processing and marketing challenges have been encountered, with the majority of the paddies still with farmers and in storage facilities in Kisumu and Ahero.

Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) and Western Kenya Rice Mills, located in Kibos and Ahero, respectively, have a total milling capacity of 7 metric tonnes per hour.