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Quality inputs key to making Kenya food secure

By Standard Reporter | October 18th 2019

A Nairobi-based multinational has asked farmers to engage in modern farming practices to produce more.

Export Trading Group (ETG), which deals with agricultural inputs, says embracing technology would also play a central role in the country’s food stability quest.

“Food production in Kenya has for a long time been impeded by the use of sub-quality inputs,” said Giles Lewis, the firm’s Country Director during a farmers’ field day in Narok County on Wednesday.

He said the use of recommended seedlings; fertilisers and chemicals have the potential of transforming Kenya’s agriculture into a form of business.

He explained that the gradual turning around of agriculture into entrepreneurship would ultimately promote inclusive and sustainable development growth, besides creating employment.

“As a result, this would have addressed a pillar in the Kenya Government’s Big Four agenda and another one in the Sustainable Development Goals,” added Mr Lewis.

The ETG Country Director further observed that the renewed focus on agriculture would upscale economic growth, dim poverty rates and narrow inequality in Kenya.

To help farmers produce more, the firm says it is offering subsidised inputs to farmers.

“We have intensified the timely distribution of quality fertilisers and seeds to farmers across the country,” he said.

Mr Lewis said ETG had come up with a mobile application, which enables farmers make their orders for the commodities through their phones.

“We are also employing scientific methods where acidity or alkalinity of soils are measured. From there, we advise farmers the kind of fertilisers to apply to their fields,” he said.

However, the process does not stop there. Mr Lewis explains that ETG has launched a new fertiliser plant in Mombasa that produces the recommended fertilisers for different soils and crops.

“These soil-specific, crop-defined fertilisers have the potential of increasing production by approximately 30 per cent,” he said.

He said the firm was already collaborating with various counties in the supply of the quality fertilisers in a bid to boost production.

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