Brief news on farming and agribusiness in the country
The initiative is part of the county’s plan to increase macadamia production from the current 5,000 tonnes to 10,000 by 2022, Governor Kiraitu Murungi said.
“The cost of seedlings is high at Sh350 each. With the nursery, we will be able to provide farmers with quality, affordable seedlings,” the governor said at Kitheo, Tigania West this week.
Slovakia ambassador Frantisek Dlhopolcek said modalities on how much money his government would pump into the project would be worked out later.
The project implemented through Self Help Africa, an NGO, will be done in Migori, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Siaya, Kitui and Kilifi counties.
“We want to increase annual cassava production per acre cultivated and the average turn over,” Clarice Kionge, a programme officer in charge of cassava at Self Help Africa, said.
Kionge added they had already met farmers’ groups, opinion shapers, extension officers and county government officials in the seven counties.
During a forum with farmers at Kasembo and Gokona cassava processing centres in Migori this week, she said the project targets 28,000 farmers across the country and would create 5,600 jobs in the crop’s value chain.
County Agriculture chief officer Elijah Gambere said the perception that cassava is a poor man’s food was to blame for the low status of the crop. Cassava is the biggest producer of starch whose quality is whiter and superior to maize’s.
Speaking during the forum for African Women Agribusiness Network, Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya CEO Okisegere Ojepat said most women start agribusiness and give up or want to engage in several activities.
“Sticking to one crop, rather than randomly changing, is an important factor that ensures more yields from farming. One should identify and choose the ideal crop and focus on it,” he said.
He added that as a farmer, one should also invest in agricultural intelligence to find a good market.
Osigere further advised women to ensure they get contracts if they want to export produce as well as stick to traceability policies.
The forum served as an opportunity for members to interact with each other, as well as share knowledge about their farming methods.