By Joyce Mutai.
Technoserve and John Deere foundation paid a visit to deputy Governor Nandi County office to discuss way forward in dairy and horticulture farming in the County.
The foundations aim to implement mobile training unit program in North rift region of Kenya and seeks to promote agricultural extension, knowledge and technology adoption in order to improve productivity, livelihoods and market access among atleast 800 small holder farmers in 3 sectors: dairy, maize and horticulture.
The mobile training program makes it easier for farmers to learn and also increase their production as they can watch the best practices on how milking, feeding and extension services should be carried out.
Deputy Governor Dominic Biwott, thanked technoserve and John Deere foundations for the move as farmers can now easily access the seedlings. He insisted that dairy farming is a priority in the County and so far accaricides worth shs. 42 million has been bought and cattle dips rehabilitated in almost all wards in the County.
Soon the County will roll out 120 water projects that will ensure that atleast 20,000 litres of water is supplied to homes on daily basis for both consumption and farming activities.
‘’Kaimosi farmers training college will soon be a training centre and farmers will be trained on crop production, soil testing, greenhouses and nurseries’’ He said. Deputy Governor urged the youth to venture in agri business as this will change the perception that farming is only for the old. He urged the two foundations to consider translating the training sessions to local language for all to understand the message being passed across.
Country Director for Technoserve Mr. Geoff Anderson said that young people should embrace farming especially in poultry and passion fruits. He urged the Agriculture sector to ensure that extension officers register all the farmers as it will assist in knowing what activities they are involved in and also increase interaction between extension officers and farmers.
Chief officer ministry of agriculture Mr. Willy Too applauded the move and said that even tractor drivers need to be trained on proper land preparation. He added that farmers need to have proper records of their farm activities for accountability.
Director John Deer Foundation John Laga said that his office is ready for contract partnership with investors of the same mind to see that standards of small scale farmers are elevated as his foundation has 75 horse power tractor for land ploughing and tracking and this will help farmers improve their farming activities. He also added that the foundation is keen in ensuring that water is available even in rural areas.