Nakuru gets five mobile grain dryers to mitigate post-harvest losses

Agriculture CS Linturi unveiled five grain dryers in Nakuru County on Feb 1, 2024. [Hilda Otieno, Standard]

The Ministry of Agriculture has today donated five mobile grain dryers to Nakuru County Government in an effort to assist farmers in mitigating post-harvest losses.

Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi said the equipment is significant in realising the government’s vision of improving grain value chains and achieving 100 percent food security.

Launching the dryers at the at the Nakuru County National cereals and produce board, Linturi said the machines tap power from a running tractor engine commonly referred to as power take-off (OTP).

“We are now ready to start drying our maize as we promised because our main vision is to minimize post-harvest losses, and one of the ways to do this is by supporting our farmers to dry their maize and store it properly,” the CS said.

The mobile grain dryers can dry between 70 bags and 120 within four hours compared to the normal traditional sun drying method that most farmers are used to.

“This machine is beneficial to us because we are going to use less energy to dry ojur cereals at a small fee. It also takes a shorter time compared to the traditional sun drying method that we are used to,” said Daniel Kamiti, a farmer.

Farmers can now dry their produce at their nearest NCPB warehouse at a cost of Sh70 per bag from the previous Sh150.

“We have reduced the cost of drying cereals per bag from Sh70 to Sh150 to enable the farmer to store their produce better by drying them properly. Even when the produce is in season they will not have to sell at a throw away price,” he said.

The dryers will be distributed to Subukia, Naivasha, Elburgon, Olenguruone and Nakuru West sub-counties NCPB offices.

Peter Wanyeki, the Chairman Coffee Union Nakuru, expressed his satisfaction on the mobile grain dryers stating that the machines will be of more use especially to coffee farmers around subukia and Rongai areas.

“We are grateful for these Mobile grain dryers, they are very essential to us coffee farmers because we need the coffee dried completely for shelf life and to avoid aflatoxins. We can now encourage farmers around this region to practice coffee farming,” affirmed Wanyeki.

Last year the government procured 100 mobile grain dryers at a cost of Sh2 billion that will be distributed across various counties for the acquisition of post-harvest losses during the harvesting season.

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