Saturday, April 13, 2024

Ronald Oduor: I never knew rice farming is this profitable, I wish I started earlier

For many years, Ronald Oduor, a farmer in the Koyonzo sub-county in Kakamega, utilized his farm in sugarcane farming before discovering a more profitable crop.

According to him, adopting rice farming not only improved his financial status but also provided an alternative source of income to farmers in the region.

He notes that unlike other crops, rice has many advantages that makes it suitable for commercial farming.

“I used to plant cane but because of delayed and poor payments, I abandoned it. Rice is easy to harvest; it has a ready market and returns are good because one sack goes for more than Sh12,000,” he said.

The farmer grows the high yielding and early-maturing Pishori Basmati variety. The rice, which takes between three to five months to mature, is said to produce at least 20 bags from an acre of land.

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Oduor, who plants on a single acre, makes at least Sh240, 000 each season. Germination takes 14 days and the rice is ready for harvesting after four months and can be harvested twice a year.

He notes that the major challenge in rice farming lies in processing where farmers who do not have a nearby processing plant are forced to travel some kilometres to process their produce.

“We are forced to travel miles to Bujwang’a to process the rice for sale. Transporting one sack is Sh600; if you have 20 sacks, that is Sh12,000. The Government should construct a factory near here to help us save on the cost of transport,” he said.

Despite the hurdles, Oduor maintains that the venture is very lucrative and encourages more farmers to embrace rice farming.

“I no longer have to worry about my children staying out of school for lack of fees. I urge other farmers to embrace it since it will help us alleviate poverty and promote food security. You can harvest the rice twice a year since it takes less than five months to mature,” he said.

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