Embu County move to improve farmers production
Embu County Government has partnered with seed companies and other stakeholders to improve extension services to farmers.
In a new model that advises farmers on modern food crop farming, the farmers will also be trained on appropriate varieties of maize, beans, and other crops that would do well in various zones.
The program will also have farmers trained on the best after-harvest measures to reduce post-harvest losses.
Agriculture Executive Jamleck Muturi said through partnering with seed companies and the Seed Trade Association of Kenya (STAK) they will ensure that farmers have the appropriate varieties of seeds and have professional technical advice.
Speaking during a farmer’s field day at Kamuthatha area of Kithimu ward, Dr Muturi said the agriculture department will also ensure that agrovets sell to farmers certified seeds.
“We will support our farmers with ploughing machines and certified seeds. We are going to support them with training to make sure that they produce the best. We are training them on the best nutrient management practices,” said Dr Muturi.
During the field day, farmers told the agriculturalists and policymakers that they face many challenges in crop production such as high cost of inputs and pests that are resistant agrochemicals.
Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) Quality Assurance General Manager, Simeon Kibet who was present revealed said the level of fake seeds in the market has fallen drastically from highs of 40 per cent.
He explained that they should scratch the Kephis logo on the seeds packet to find a number that when sent through SMS to 1393 will establish the exact variety, its producer, the batch and its lifespan.
“If the seeds fail to germinate or have poor germination rate, they should report to us. Through this method we have beaten the fake seeds and are working to eliminate them,” he said.