ADC to use drones to tame rampant seed maize theft in Trans Nzoia


Alarmed by rampant theft of its seed maize due to high demand for the crop in Uganda, the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) is set to use surveillance drones to tame the vice on its farms in Trans Nzoia County.

ADC Managing Director Mr. Mohammed Bulle said they have been forced to use drones to monitor operations on the expansion farms to curb any illegal activities including the theft of seed maize.

Bulle decried the rampant theft of the seed maize and oranges in Endebess Sub-county at the Kenya-Uganda border arguing that the use of digitized technology will help detect for quick response.

"There is high demand and ready for raw seed maize in Uganda and we loss many kilos of the crop to thieves who smuggled the commodity outside the country," said Bulle.

Speaking in Sabwani ADC farm when board directors led by Dr. Joseph Rotumoi were on a familiarization tour to the corporation's farms, Rotumoi said ADC has plans to erect security installations on all of its farms to check on rising insecurity.

He said his team has reached out to the national government to help in the installation of the security technologies on farms across the country.

"Insecurity on farms is our major concern and because we lack resources, we have approached the national government to help us procure and erect security installations on all our farms across the country. This will aid effective production'" said Dr Rotumoi.

Apart from the upscaling security, Dr Rotumoi said plans are at an advanced stage to digitize the corporation's operation to guard against wastage.

"Our operations are huge and we want to bring in digitization to guard against wastage. We believe the use of technology is timely and minimize wastage," said Dr Rotumoi.

He said they were impressed with the activities on the farms and expressed their commitment to aid in the transformation of the company to hit its core mandate of ensuring food security.

The board asked the local security committee headed by County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi to support in the provision of security surveillance at the border and stamp out the theft of seed maize.

"The security of the seed maize is a national concern and we have reached out the county security committee to help us intensified border patrols to stamp out the smuggling of the raw seed maize out of the country by individuals," he said.

To achieve the food security agenda pushed by President Dr William Ruto, ADC has increased production area for seed maize.

According to Bulle, they have done 12,000 acres from last season's 10,000 acres.

The corporation expect to produce 4.8 million kilos from the current crop.

ADC is the major seed maize grower for Kenya Seed Company KSC, the state's seed processor.

Bulle said the corporation has scaled up diversification to enhance food production in the country.

"As an agency tasked with ensuring food security, we have scaled up the transformation agenda by the government including available cheap semen to farms we produce at our bull station in Endebess and also accelerated the breeding of heifers," said Bulle.

ADC has also doing sugarcane farming alongside beans and pasture on its isolated lands to avoid cross-pollination hence there is no way seed farms can be affected by the crop.

To mitigate the effects of climate change, the corporation has also ventured into irrigation and conservation Agriculture to cushion itself from having low production that might be occasioned by drought.