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ADC's plans to increase food production

The Agricultural Development Corporation has scaled up operations to mitigate climatic change and high production costs to hit the target in food production.

Managing Director Mohamud Bulle said the firm is embracing new approaches such as technologies and climate mitigation mechanisms.

To enhance production, he said the firm had procured more than 50 tractors at the cost of Sh400 million to scale up the mechanisation programmes.

He argued that due to challenges posed by climate changes, the corporation has heightened the use of modern agricultural technologies such as conservation agriculture to reduce the impact of floods and drought.

Weather patterns, he observed, have in the last sessions lowered maize production and the new approaches currently applied are improving yield.

"We have procured high-powered tractors to assist us embrace the mechanisation programme. We have turned to conservation agriculture to mitigate the effects of global warming," said Bulle.

Depending on the weather condition seed maize yield range between eight million kilos and 12 million kilos annually.

The official said the introduction of conservation agriculture is bearing fruit as the yield on both seed and commercial maize has improved.

"In the past sessions we have experienced floods and drought and this lower seed maize production. We have employed measures to lessen the effects caused by floods and drought," Bulle said in the interview with the Standard.

He said the management has diversified to other crops such as macadamia and sugarcane to curb the effects of climate change, increase food security and earnings to the firm.

"We have partnered with two farmers to grow macadamia and sugarcane in an area covering 4,000 acres. From the macadamia we expect an income of Sh120,000 per acre compared to Sh30,000 we earn from one acre of commercial maize,’’ he said.

To improve dairy and beef production in the country, ADC recently imported 16 bulls from South Africa at the cost of Sh10 million.

The bull imports, he said, is set to boost the country semen production and make the commodity affordable to farmers.

Bulle said the importation brings to 26 bulls sourced from renowned breeders.

"The semen facility will produce one million doses of semen every year and this will help bring down the cost of semen. Already the ongoing semen production has seen the cost drop from Sh1,000 to Sh300 per dose,’’ he added.

The semen facility backed up with bulls will help the country double semen production from the current 30,000 doses per month to the targeted 50,000 per month by the end of this year.

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