Fast Maturing and Drought Tolerant Crop Varieties Presented to Kitui Farmers at Field Day

Agricultural Training Centre, Kitui - Fast maturing and drought resistant crops that require little water were on display at the Kitui farmers field day as KEPHIS and stakeholders strived to educate and communicate to farmers on crops that are suitable for the arid zone. Varieties of Sorghum, Millet, Cow peas, Pigeon peas and Maize were on display for the over 1080 farmers that attended the event. There was also sukuma wiki(kales) and spinach.

Deputy Governor Dr. Wathe Nzau noted that Kitui has vast tracks of land that were fertile but farmers needed to grow crops that were suitable for the county. He also urged farmers to go back to growing indigenous vegetables that were nutritious and promoted health.
KEPHIS Board Chairman Mr. Robin Achoki reminded those present that the Organization, through its seed certification processes, ensures that farmers plant the best quality seed for enhanced yields. He further stated that through field days, KEPHIS presents superior crop varieties to farmers thus enhancing nutrition and food security.

KEPHIS MD Dr. Esther Kimani urged farmers to purchase seed from recognized agrovets, scratch the foil on packets and send the code underneath to 1393.
"You will get all the information on the seed to enable you make informed decisions as you grow your crops," she added.

Mr. Mwangi, Gioche, the Director of Agriculture Research and Innovation at the state department of agriculture and who represented Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri, said that the government would continue supporting the modernization of agriculture and teaching farmers the importance of growing crops suitable for their agro-ecological zones using the right techniques. "We are also focused on making agriculture ‘attractive’ to young people and for it to be seen as a viable source of livelihood.

The event was also attended by Hon. John Paul Mwirigi and Hon. Joyce Kamene who are members of the parliamentary committee on agriculture.
The event was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development(USAID) through the Feed the Future Programme.

Top and above: various crops on display during the Kitui farmers field day

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