KEPHIS and the County Government of Kirinyaga Promote Hass Avocado Variety and Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato during Farmers Field Day

Kirinyaga - KEPHIS in conjunction with the County Government of Kirinyaga held a field day at Karumandi ward, Kamwiti farm whose aim was to promote the production of clean orange fleshed sweet potato and avocado Hass variety seedlings. Approximately 300 farmers attended the function.

Sweet potato has high nutritional value such as abundance of rich in beta-carotene while hass avocado is used in the medicinal, cosmetic and food industries in the country.
In attendance was Kirinyaga Governor H.E. Anne Waiguru, Deputy Governor H.E. Peter Ndambiri and MCA Karumandi Ward, Hon. Antony Kinyua. Governor Waiguru advised the farmers to grow avocados since they are in high demand locally and internationally. She added that the county government has a program dubbed wezesha that aims at empowering small scale farmers to gain access to new markets that have recently opened up in China and Mauritius by providing them with high quality seedlings; 3,000 avocado seedlings were distributed to farmers during the event.
Mr. Ephraim Wachira, KEPHIS Officer in Charge at the Embun regional office taught the farmers how to plant avocado seedlings. He advised them to dig holes with dimensions of 60cm*60cm*60cm with a spacing of 8m by 8m. He encouraged them to embrace avocado farming as it is a long term investment, for when an avocado tree reaches maturity level, five years after planting a farmer is able to harvest an average of 500 to 2,000 fruits per tree.
Mr. James Wahome, KEPHIS Chief Liaison Officer later educated the farmers on orange fleshed sweet potato. He showed them two varieties - Vitaa and Kabode - and explained how they are planted. “Vine cuttings for vine production, should be 3 to 4 nodes and for root production, 30cm long. The cuttings for root production are supposed to be planted on mounds, ridges or flat beds. Most part of the cutting is placed in the soil and the tip left exposed; however, 30cm by 75cm is the recommended spacing for root productionas it ensures high yields,” he stated.

Kirinyaga governor H.E. Anne Waiguru presenting an avocado seedling to a participant during the KEPHIS and the County Government of Kirinyaga field day

KEPHIS Officer in Charge in the Embu Regional Office Mr. Ephraim Wachira explaining to Kirinyaga farmers how to grow hass avocado for the local and the export market

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