Mkulima today many farmers are not a happy lot. Farmers counting losses as NYS destroys over 40 acres of maize crops.

With the rehabilitation of the railway, several farmers are counting losses as the government moves in to clear the path for the coming rains.

Need to know

  • The government has embarked on an ambitious project to rehabilitate the rail network countrywide with the aim of supporting commerce and ease of movement.
  • Hundreds of NYS officers have been deployed nationwide. Among the team that was sent included those working at the Kipkelion railway station.
  • Here they descended on mature corn that was almost ready for harvest as residents watched in surprises.
  • Kipkelion ward representative Mr. Anthony Ruto said the move would affect food security in his region since those affected by the destruction are mainly small scale farmers.

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Farmers counting losses as NYS destroys over 40 acres of maize crops Kericho residents were left in shock on when the National Youth service officers destroyed maize that were planted on the Kenya Railways land to pave way for rehabilitation.

The government has planned to revive the old Nakuru-Kisumu line to boost the Kisumu port that is planned to be launched by President Kenyatta this year.

This is planned to help boost the ease of goods transportation across the country.

Hundreds of NYS officers descended on farms at the Kipkelion Railway Station and slashed maize that was almost mature and ready for harvesting.

Residents could only watch in shock as months of hard work and money was destroyed by the government representatives.

At least 40 acres of maize crops were destroyed in the process.

one of the farmers said they were informed their crops were being uprooted and when they got to the farm they could only watch as their investments went up in smoke.

No notice

Ms. Mutai one of the affected farmers said neither the NYS nor the Kenya Railways gave them notice on the destruction of the crops.

No farmer was allowed to access the farms when they turned up to witness the destruction that left over 40 acres of maize plantations destroyed.

Abraham Kirui one of the affected farmers lamented on how they were not given notice.

Sure enough, if they had prior knowledge they could have cut the plants for silage or sold to dairy farmers and saved part of their investments but that was not the case.

Mr. Kirui a farmer called on the Kenya Railways to compensate the farmers for the losses.

We will have to keep an eye on the matter and see if the request will be respected.

This is because they were allowed to engage in farming activities along the railway line and land that belonged to the organization.

It is a taboo in the Kalenjin community and I believe other communities in Kenya fringe at the thought of destroying food.

Food security

Kipkelion ward representative Anthony Ruto said the move would greatly affect food security in the region.

This is because many of the farmers are small scale farmers.

Farmers were left counting losses since the plants would be ready for harvest in about one or two months.

Kenya railways should have allowed thee crops to mature for harvest or let the farmers cut the crops for their animals.

Mr. Ruto also added that the destruction of the crops was insensitive.

However, not everyone agreed with the farmers.

Some residents agreed with the move to destroy the crops since it was a sign by the government to keep the country moving forward.

This is a welcomed commitment by the government on the rehabilitation of stalled projects.

We hope the rehabilitation works will help in creating jobs for residents and revive the once vibrant Kipkelion trading center.

Kipkelion was a beehive of activities in the early 80s as the railway station was one of the main sources of activity in the transportation of people and goods.

After the collapse and neglect of the railway system from Nairobi to Kisumu, the place became a ghost town as people left for more urbanized regions.

With the revival of the Kisumu port we all home the SGR will be connected to the old railway at Naivasha all the way to the lakeside city.

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