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Read this rice farmer’s thread on why we have shortage

A rice farmer has attributed the ongoing rice shortage to the closure of irrigation ‘streams’ leading to low production.

The farmer, through his Twitter account wrote a thread of messages explaining how the ‘streams’ were closed due to a Sh14million debt that farmers had been told to pay.

He went on to explain that for two seasons, most farmers did not plant as water was ‘blocked’ from getting to their farms.

According to Business Daily, the shortage has pushed retail prices from Sh145 a kilo in January to Sh200 as at Monday October, 2.

The National Irrigation Board (NIB) said rice production at Mwea dropped from average yields of 830,000 bags in the season ended March last year to 498,000 bags in the season ended March this year, a 40 per cent decline.

“The cost of rice has been increasing since January following a drop in output at the Mwea Irrigation Scheme in the wake of a severe drought that affected the flow of water,” said Innocent Ariemba, a manager at the scheme.

The rice farmer whose thread has been shared widely on twitter however disputed the NIB’s drought explanation saying the debt, which has since been cleared led to closure of ‘streams’.