Central Kenya's annual 'Farmers Day' to focus on climate change

Avocado farmers being taken through a session by an extension agricultural officer at Wambugu farm in Nyeri County. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

Over 15,000 farmers and traders from across Central Kenya are expected to attend the annual farmers' exhibition at Wambugu Agricultural Training Centre in Nyeri County.

Speaking at Wambugu Agricultural Training Center Farm manager John Wambugu said the two-day event will be held on July 28 and 29, 2023 to train modern farming and increase productivity.

"The purpose of Wambugu farm centre is to train and improve farming methods of farmers and act as a demonstration farm to the seed companies developing new varieties that are suitable to the climate of the area," Wambugu said.

He added that this year's theme of the field day is the theme of; Promoting Climate-smart Agriculture and Trade Initiatives for Sustainable Economic Growth.

"The farmers should come ready to learn and adopt the new technique in farming, adapt to climate change and practice climate-friendly farming that includes the planting of fruit trees to mitigate climate change," Wambugu said.

He observed that he expected 15,000 people to attend each day, noting that the field is big enough to accommodate more than 30,000 people at a time.

"We expect more than 250 exhibitors to showcase their products and farm demonstrations," he said.

Wambugu insisted event will bring together 140 seeds and herbicide companies among other stakeholders adding that agronomists will explain to the farmers how to control pests.

The crop developer urged the farmers and public to take this golden opportunity to learn and meet with seed company providers.

"This annual event enables farmers and other stakeholders in farming to educate and learn on new farming methods that can sustain farmers, especially the drought-resistant crops and can withstand harsh weather including prolonged drought," he said.

Wambugu said farming can be done anywhere the farmer can recycle waste containers and plant crops.

"Farmers should embrace recycling the broken plastic and waste sack and cement packets among other waste materials at home to plant crops especially vegetables that do not require a big space that can sustain them in the kitchen and enhance a balanced diet," he said.

Wambugu encouraged the public to use the kitchen garden to sustain vegetables but also to sell observing that a small recycled three sacks with 100 to 150 sukuma wiki or spinach plants can earn a farmer Sh200 to Sh300 daily during harvest time on maturity can go for a month which can earn up to Sh60,000.

He advises the youth to embrace farming instead of waiting for the white collar job adding that farming is sustainable and can employ anyone.

Wambugu also urged the public to take advantage of farm routine training offered every Thursday of the week for free that aims at improving farming skills and increasing productivity using modern technology.