The agriculture, livestock, fisheries and blue economy department in Kilifi County government has rehabilitated 26 tractors that had been grounded in readiness for the planting season.

The tractors will be distributed to all the 35 wards and are aimed at reducing the cost of ploughing for farmers in the county.

According to the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for agriculture Chula Mwagona, the county will charge Sh. 1,750 to plough an acre of land as opposed to Sh. 2,500 demanded by private business people.

Mr Mwagona added that the county has 55 tractors but all of them had been grounded in scattered government offices within the county.

“The tractors have 26 tractors that we have rehabilitated and they are offering subsidized services to our farmers. We have 55 tractors and all of them were grounded and we are going to rehabilitate the remaining ones,” he said.

He also said that his department was distributing maize seeds, cassava cuttings, coconut and cashew nut seedlings to farmers.

“We are also distributing maize seeds to farmers, at least ten tons for each ward. We have also procured coconut and cashew nut seedlings to distribute to farmers free of charge,” he added.

The director of agriculture in the county Safari Ziro urged the youth to come out of their comfort zones and take up agriculture with an aim of creating job opportunities and making the county food secure.

“We are calling on the youth to take up farming and there are programs we have put in place to entice the youth into agriculture like agribusiness,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by the Chief Officer for agriculture Teddy Yawa who said that agriculture had for a long time been a preserve of the older generations hence there was need for drastic measures to pull residents into the practice.

“The people keen with agriculture are the older people as youth seek for white collar jobs but we are changing the trend,” he said.

Mr Yawa also said that the budgetary allocation for the department was not adequate and needed to be reviewed upwards.

“We need at least a Sh. 1 billion budget every financial year in the agriculture department but we only get Sh. 700 billion and we are trying to work with that budget,” he said.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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