The scorching heat of Kenya’s south coast is causing nightmares to many farmers. Just two months ago, after the rains arrived, Kenya’s south coast was lush with green scenery. The maize fields were thriving and the tomatoes and bell peppers were flourishing. Farmers were happy and looking forward to a bumper harvest.
Today, however, the green is gone, the maize is withered and the situation is grim. A drought is looming. Even the drought-tolerant crops such as Syngenta’s Kilele F1 tomato variety and amaranth greens are being affected by the extreme heat. The farmers are asking themselves hard questions about what they could have done differently to avoid losing their crops.
The farmers at the Kenyan south coast are not alone. Drought is ravaging crops and destroying harvests in countries across Africa and Asia. In Malawi, as many as 6.5 million people are in dire need of food aid as a result. According to the World Food Programme, the number of people expected to need food aid by the end of the year in southern Africa alone is 14.1 million.