Mbeere Residents Shown Suitable Crops to Plant in Their Agro-Ecological Zone during Field Day

Rwika, Mbeere South - KEPHIS in conjunction with the County Government of Embu and seed stakeholders held a field day at Rwika farm, located in Mbeti Ward, Mbeere South Sub-county. Approximately 400 farmers were in attendance. The aim of the field day was to promote improved drought tolerant crop varieties and sustainable farming technologies for nutrition and food security. 

 

In attendance was Embu Agriculture Executive, Annie Nyaga, who was representing Governor Martin Wambora. She said that the improved varieties of drought tolerant crops which had been introduced by KEPHIS and the county government can withstand less rainfall and mature faster. She urged the people of Mbeere to grow crops such as green grams and cassava as their prices are affordable and they are ideal for their nutrition. She added that the national government is planning to roll out a program of relief food as well as the construction of five earth dams for Mbeere to use for crop and livestock farming.

KEPHIS GM for Quality Assurance, Mr. Simeon Kibet, explained the role of KEPHIS to the farmers while highlighting the importance of seed quality. “Farmers should buy seeds from companies that are registered with KEPHIS as either seed merchants or sellers. To verify its authenticity, one should ensure that the packet bears a KEPHIS sticker label that one should scratch and send the number underneath through SMS to 1393, after which, one will establish the seed variety, the producer and the lot number,” stated Mr. Kibet. 


Embu CEC for Agriculture Annie Nyagah, KEPHIS GM for Quality Assurance Simeon Kibet (2nd right) and other officials sample some of the crops on display during the Rwika farmers field day in Mbeere South. 

He added that once a farmer has purchased seeds, they should not throw away the receipt and packaging material for if planted seed fails to germinate, one should make a report to KEPHIS, upon which a follow up will be done using the evidence. He said that through this process and the Mulika Mbegu Mbovu campaign, KEPHIS has been able to reduce the level of fake seeds in the market from 40% to 3%. He urged the county government and the farmers to help in the fight against fake seeds by reporting to KEPHIS offices. Mr. Ephraim Wachira, KEPHIS Officer in Charge of Embu region said that due to climate change which has resulted in extremely low rainfall and high temperatures, the new crop varieties are set to withstand this, as KEPHIS has released high yielding varieties of finger millet(varieties: KATFM 1),green grams(varieties: Biashara, N26 and Karembo), cowpeas( varieties: M66, K80, KVU 27-1 and KK1), Sorghum (varieties: Gadam and Seredo), amaranthus (varieties: Amaranth Giant, Amaranth Dubious, Amaranth Hybrid), pearl millet (varieties: KATPM 1) and vegetables suitable for semi- arid parts of the country such as Mbeere.

The event was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Feed the Future programme.


KEPHIS GM for Quality Assurance addressing farmers and other participants of the recently concluded Rwika field day 


Embu Agriculture Executive, Annie Nyaga, addressing farmers on the importance of adapting new drought tolerant crop varieties during the farmers’ field day at Rwika in Mbeti ward, Mbeere South Sub- County.

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