Kericho Leaders Sensitized on the Importance of Hass Avocado

Kapsoit Polytechnic, Kericho - KEPHIS was once again in Kapsoit, Kericho County to sensitize the farmers and residents on good agricultural practices for growing avocado, particularly the hass variety.

On this day, however, the Corporation particularly engaged leaders from Kapsoit and Ainamoi on growing the fruit. Leaders present included the Women Representative, Hon. Hellen Chepkwony, Ainamoi MP Hon. Sylvanus Maritim and Members of County Assembly (MCAs). The field day started with an exhibition on showing good quality avocadoes, how to manage pests and diseases using fruit fly traps, market access opportunities and how Kericho can diversity and include avocado growing as part of its farming activities.
MD KEPHIS Dr Esther Kimani advised that the world market for avocado was available, but they needed to plant the right variety for avocado to gain market access. Women Rep Hellen Chepkwony advised those present to take advantage of KEPHIS services and promote the growth of avocado.
"KEPHIS has come to Kericho, please seek their advice as you grow avocado to uplift your standards of living," she said.
Local MCAs also urged the farmers to uplift their standards of living by planting avocado and especially the required varieties.

Mr. Kello Warsama, Secretary of Administration at the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and who represented the CS Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri observed that Kericho County is known predominantly for its world famous tea, another major revenue earner for farmers and the country. "However, experts are telling us we must not remain mono-crop farmers. There is need to diversify in order to spread risk and upscale our standards of living." he said as he read his speech.

He added that in 2016, Kenya exported avocadoes worth 5.4 billion and we are ranked 3rd worldwide. Indeed, the potential for export is huge as the demand exceeds supply.
Moreover, avocado has great health, beauty and medicinal values; it is eaten as a fruit, used in salads, spreads and juice, and also in the preparation of creams and other beauty products and for medicinal purposes. It is a fruit with promise. To be part of this promise, a farmers should purchase seedlings that have been certified by KEPHIS. Such certified nurseries ensure that you will get a good crop at harvest time.

Leaders from Ainamoi and Kapsoit in Kericho as well as national leaders listening to the proceedings during the Kapsoit field day.

Showing how the fruit fly traps works by capturing the male pests using female pheromones, thus reducing their population; this minimizes multiplication with females and the pest population is reduced.

Mr. Kello Warsama (right) Secretary for Administration presents an avocado seedling to a farmers group at the Kapsoit field day in Kericho.

MD KEPHIS Dr Esther Kimani presenting an avocado seedling to a delighted participant at the Kapsoit field day.

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