Pricey farm inputs weighing down on rice production


High cost of farm inputs and wrong farming mechanism is weighing down rice production in the country.

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Agriculture ministry Head of Rice Promotion Programme Jane Ndungu says an increase in consumption per capita has meant the country is forced to import the deficit of at least 600,000 metric tons.

Consumption currently stands at 20.6 kilogram per person annually.

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Rice is among the top cereal grains the government is targeting to ensure attainment of food security.

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The goal is to increase output to at least 400,000 metric tons within the next three years to meet demand for the ever rising rice consumption rice is currently the second most consumed grain after maize.

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According to Head of Rice Promotion Programme Jane Ndungu the country currently produces 128, 000 metric tons against the required 900,000 metric tons forcing the country to import the deficit.

However, production in the country is hampered by poor farming practices especially among small scale farmers coupled with reluctance to adopt appropriate technologies.

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Among techniques being explored to increase production is water retention technology.

The country has 23 counties engaged in rice farming.

They were speaking during the training of farmers by Yara Fertilizer East Africa on the importance of soil testing.

The firm has so far trained 5000 farmers across the country.

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