Rice farmers count gains

By joseph checky abuje joabuje@gmail.com

After a devastating season of floods in the flood prone area of budalangi in western kenya, rice farmers from Bunyalla irrigation scheme have a reason to smile after recording a bumper harvest of paddy.

Majority of farmers had just transplanted rice in their fields as others werer in a haste of prepation of their acres ready to plant so as to match with the season when the disater of floods struck mercilessly. The entire faming area was under flood water and the newly transplanted crops uprooted to the disadvantage of the poor farmer.

Musolo ogayi is a rice farmer from bunyala and to  him, it is “glory to God”. “We thought it was done following the agonising experience of floods that caused much havoc to socio-economic fabrics of this place” rhetorts Musolo.

Farmers were forced to incure additional expenses since that is the only economic venture most families rely on for survival and other economic needs. “We just opted to incure losses as we had no otherwise” says Alex Oloo, an outgrower rice farmer from Nemali block.

The bumper harvest has come as a surprise. The dislusioned farmers did not expect it. Thanks to the humus deposits ffrom the flooding waters.

According to musolo who is also the manager, Bunyala Rice Farmers cooperative Society (BRFCS), farmers will no longer incure losses, but rip maximumly as a result of the promosing harvest that is trickling in their stores.

“We are likely to have limited storage space for our paddy” musolo told Africa Science news reporter.

“There was a lot of hopelessness from the community members when floods marooned the entire of Southern Bunyala compelling locals from the affected areas to seek refuge in camps in the neighbouring Bunyala North. In as much as we were convinced that all was lost, we were still not sure if we would be successful in the second farming cycle that came immediately after the waters receeded,” says Paul Sikudi, who has been growing rice for almost half his age.

“I can tell you the output of the paddy is impressive; an acre is giving an average of 35-40 bags of paddy against the previous harvest of between 15 and 20 averagely”. Observed the cooperative’s manager.