A section of farmers in Migori County have felt a sigh of relief following the agricultural trade fair that seeks to train them on the ways of maximizing food basket supply in the county.
The trade fair that was done by the County Government in conjunction with various agriculture stakeholders sensitized farmers on farming techniques to ensure food reserves in the county.
The exercise that took place at Pau Nyuka, Suna East Sub County in Migori, focussed on ways of balancing the farm inputs by farmers in order to realize profits from the sale of the farm produce.
While addressing the farmers who during the orientation dubbed ‘Migori Farmers Expo and Trade Fair’, William Gitonga, an extension officer, said that through the Expo, the farmers will be able to know how to treat the crops at different stages.
“Most farmers who have the farm inputs lack the knowledge of when and how to use them. Ours is to give them the basic knowledge on how to appropriately use the inputs at different stages for maximum production,” he said.
Gitonga added that the aim is to reach out to all farmers in Migori County and deliver to them the best farming techniques for an agriculturally progressive County.
This will be made possible by picking a sample of farmers from different corners of the County, training them and making them tutors to reach out to the remaining others.
Through this practice, Gitonga says that the knowledge gained is being retained by means of progressive learning passed from the pioneer beneficiaries to the last farmer.
“We mainly use progressive learning whereby we take a sample of farmers whom we teach, and later assign them the role of being tutors to the rest of the farmers,” he said.
He added that the work has been made easy by including cooperatives which have taken the role of teaching the farmers the best agricultural practices apart from offering loans to farmers.
Gitonga, however, admitted that most farmers have not embraced the teachings on assumptions that the stakeholders are using the scheme to sell their seeds at expensive prices.
He called on the farmers to turn up in large numbers and benefit from the program that according to him, only aims at benefiting the peasant farmers to maximize the crop produce.
“Most of the stakeholders here are doing this voluntarily and if there are those who sell the products, it is done at the wholesale prices. The major aim is to impact the knowledge of farmers,” he said.
Gitonga marvelled at how the government has been abandoning agriculture, always putting it at the periphery of its priorities, yet agriculture remains the backbone of the Kenyan economy.
He implored the national and County governments to put first priority on agriculture in order to ensure that hunger that has always been experienced in Kenya cyclically is a long gone thing.
“Our hope is that the Kenyan governments will put agriculture at the forefront of their deliberations so as to ensure that the cyclical hunger and starvation in Kenya comes to its end,” he added.
He urged the farmers to embrace the training stating that the program is free and beneficial to them for the rest of their entire lives.
Milton Ongili, a beneficiary farmer from the program thanked the stakeholders and the County Government for always being mindful of the agriculture sector.