By JAMES OMORO
Homa Bay, Kenya: Farmers in Homa Bay County will benefit from the services of eight tractors bought by the county government to help in farming.
The eight tractors have been bought by the county Government at a cost of Sh6.5 million to enable farmers enhance crop production in the county.
The tractors will be hired by the farmers at a cheaper fees to enable them grow various crops in large scale more efficiently.
To hire these tractors, the farmers will only pay Sh2,000 per hectare for sloughing and Sh1,000 per for harrowing.
Residents said this is half the cost of hiring privately owned tractors.
Speaking during the flagging off ceremony of the tractors at Gaena market in Ndhiwa Sub-County, Governor Cyprian Awiti said purchase of the tractors was one of his endeavours to improve food security in the area.
Awiti expressed concern that Homa Bay has fertile land which is lying fallow mainly because of shortage of machinery for cultivation despite the high poverty level.
“It is very discouraging to note that whereas 104,464 hectares are under food crops, only 12,277 hectares are under cash crops. We want this production to increase by 50 per cent. We have a high potential for irrigated agriculture but we are only exploiting 13.3 per cent of this potential,” he said.
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The Governor pledged to add more tractors in the county to serve more farmers.
“I want to see immediate results from these tractors because we must work hard to help end the capital flight that has left our people financially vulnerable. Every resident of this county should be responsible in ensuring the tractors are in good conditions,” he said.
Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata warned residents against misuse of the tractors, saying some people are likely to use the tractors for selfish gain.
“We want these tractors to transform lives of our people. I want you to report to us anybody suspected of using the tractors through corrupt ways,” said Orata.