Lack of Agricultural Information for Farmers Hindering Bumper Harvests of Food

Sultan Hamud, Makueni County – Lack of information on agricultural production is hindering farmers from practicing effective production of adequate food.

Addressing over 1,000 farmers in Sultan Hamud in Makueni County during a farmers field day, the Principal Secretary for Agricultural Research Prof. Hamadi Boga reiterated that farmers in Kenya had to practice agriculture differently and have adequate information that would enable them practice agribusiness thus uplift their standards of living.

“Farming has money but you have to know the basics of good agriculture. This includes planting the right certified seed for your agro-ecological zone, testing the soil on your farm, testing manure, irrigation water, fertilizers and other agricultural inputs.

He urged farmers to diversify. “Do not insist on producing maize only,” he stated.

He added: “Harvest water; do not let water get lost and if you can practice conservation agriculture the better.”

 

New potato production techniques being shown during the Sultan Hamud Field Day

He urged farmers to familiarize themselves on basic agricultural economics to know the break-even point at which they start making profits.

Mr. Nzioka Waita, the Chief of Staff and Head of the Presidential Delivery Unit, urged the farmers in the area to build small dams to conserve water, noting that the long rains had delayed and may not be as adequate as expected.

“Let us hold hands to conserve water to that no one goes to sleep hungry,” he said.

Mr. Nzioka reiterated that one can make money from agriculture but correct agricultural practices needed to be practiced.

A cabbage that can do well in Sultan Hamud being shown to PS for Agricultural Research Prof. Hamadi Boga(in blue shirt) and Mr Nzioka Waita, Chief of Staff and Head of the Presidential Delivery Unit, Executive Office of the President, during the Sultan Hamud Field Day

He noted that the average age of a Kenyan farmer is 60 years old thus the onus was on the youth to join hands and practice good agriculture to feed the nation. “Let the youth form groups and hold each other accountable to produce food,” he said.

The field day showcased cabbages, spinach, potatoes, maize, onions, cowpeas, sorghum, tomatoes, pastures, pumpkins and capsicums (for salad and for cooking) to the farmers. Sultan Hamud is in a semi-arid areas hence KEPHIS and stakeholders showed farmers varieties that can grow there.

Also in attendance were the Makueni County Commissioner Mr. Maalim Mohammed, KEPHIS Board Chair Mr. Wycliffe Murwayi and KEPHIS MD Dr. Esther Kimani.

The event was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development through its Feed the Future Project which targets to improve food security through strengthening KEPHIS regulatory capacity to certify crops and facilitate safe foods.

 

 KEPHIS Board Chair Mr. Wycliffe Murwayi (left), MD Dr. Esther Kimani and Makueni County Commissioner Maalim Mohamed planting mango seedlings during the Sultan Hamud Field Day.

 

 

 

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