Practice Potato Production and Horticulture for Availability of Food and to Upscale Your Standards of Living, Moiben Residents Advised

Cheplaskei, Moiben - Uasin Gishu Governor H.E. Jackson Mandago is leading the way in promoting the production of potato and horticulture in Uasin Gishu county.

Last week, a field day was held in Cheplaskei, Moiben sub-county where various potato varieties were shown to over 1000 farmers from the constituency and beyond. The potato varieties included Shangi, Tigoni, Rumba, Asante, Challenger, Sagitta, Jelly and Dutch Robjn. KEPHIS staff explained the different agro-ecological zones where the varieties can be grown. On the same field, horticultural produce - managu, spinach, tomatoes, carrots and beetroot - were also shown at the event.
KEPHIS and the County Government of Uasin Gishu are collaborating to promote potato growing which is part of the national government's Big 4 Agenda to promote food availability. KEPHIS has built capacity for staff in matters of pests and disease management, surveillance, seed certification as well as urging residents to practice horticulture as a source of livelihood and agribusiness so as to solve the unemployment problem in county and country.
The Chief Guest was the Cabinet Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation Dr. Andrew Tuimur who disclosed that KEPHIS in collaboration with seed companies had released(made available for multiplication) 53 varieties of potato for use as chips, crisps and table and that businessmen and farmers should multiply these for economic growth and development.
KEPHIS MD Dr Esther Kimani reiterated the importance of the organization to farmers and urged them to seek assistance at the nearest KEPHIS offices in Eldoret Airport or the Kitale regional office
Governor Mandago urged his constituents to diversity for food availability and to ward off hunger. "We cannot just consume ugali as maize has had challenges of pests and diseases, such as the Fall Armyworm, but we should grow other crops beside maize," he stated. He went on to show some constituents who had diversified to horticultural crops and prospered and urged residents present to follow suit.
Moiben MP Hon. Silas Tiren, in a message read on his behalf, urged his constituents to diversity to potato production. "Moiben is known for large scale farming of maize and wheat but I want to urge you to grow potato for food availability,' he said. Maize, he added, had suffered serious diseases such as the Head Smut disease in recent times, hence the need to grow alternative crops.

The event was attended by Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Eng. Alex Tolgos, former Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto, Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno and Navakholo MP and Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Hon. Emmanual Wangwe.

 Jelly and Tigoni potato varieties were on display during the field day

Horticultural produce - managu, spinach, tomatoes, carrots and beetroot- are all grown in this relatively small piece of land using drip irrigation(Can you see the pipes have dispensed water?). The owner of the field explained during the Cheplaskei, Moiben field day that he already has a market for his produce and expects to make a tidy sum of money after practicing good agricultural practices

Governor Mandago (in green KEPHIS cap) showed those in attendance these men who had diversified to potato production and horticulture and had uplifted their standards of living. Diversification, the governor advised, is the way to go in light of the challenges of pests and diseases facing maize in Uasin Gishu County and the country at large.

The Chief Guest was the Cabinet Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation Dr. Andrew Tuimur who disclosed that KEPHIS in collaboration with seed companies had released(made available for multiplication) 53 varieties of potato for use as chips, crisps and table and urged businessmen and farmers to multiply the varieties for food security and national development.

KEPHID MD Dr Esther Kimani urged those in attendance at the field day to seek KEPHIS assistance at the Eldoret Airport or the Kitale Regional office whenever they have problems with pests and diseases.

 

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