Farmers in counties in the Lake Basin region and highlands west, central and south of the Rift Valley can plant their crops as the regions will continue receiving rain for the next five days according to the Kenya Meteorological department.
These includes the counties of Siaya, Kisumu, Homabay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Trans Nzoia, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Nandi, Nakuru, Narok, Kericho, Bomet, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma and Busia. Some parts of the mentioned places will receive showers and thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon hours.
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In the counties of Nairobi, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kiambu, Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi there is a possibility of rains over a few places especially in the morning.
In 2017, planting of maize, the staple food crop in the country was delayed due to late onset if the long rains which started in mid-April. With the erratic rainfall, maize production dropped from a projected 40m bags to 36m bags, a drop of about four per cent.But with current rains set to continue, farmers can breathe a sigh of relief.
Farmers ploughing land using oxen in preparation for this year’s planting season
A majority of Kenyan farmers depend on rain-fed agriculture to grow their crops in a sector that accounts for about 26 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and over 60 per cent of total foreign exchange earnings. The sector also provides approximately 80 per cent of all employment opportunities in the country.
A report published in the International Journal of Climatology reveals that Kenya is highly vulnerable to drought. Only 20 per cent of the country receives high and regular rainfall. The remaining 80 per cent is characterized as arid and semi-arid lands where rainfall is highly variable and drought is a regular feature of the climate.