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Trans Nzoia County buys Sh27m mobile grain dryers

RIFT VALLEY
By Obare Osinde and Titus Too | October 3rd 2019
Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba launches a mobile grain drier at Kiminini Catholic Church. [Osinde Obare, Standard]

The county government has bought three mobile grain dryers worth Sh27 million to help farmers curb post-harvest losses.

Farmers in parts of the North Rift region are currently readying to harvest maize and wheat despite current high humid conditions following prolonged heavy rains in the last few weeks.

Consequently, farmers in Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counties will face the challenge of poor storage for their produce.

Most farmers opt to dispose of their produce at throwaway prices to middlemen to avoid the risk of losses due to high humid conditions.

The three dryers bought by Trans Nzoia County Government will assist farmers lower the moisture content of produce and curb loses for those who wish to store their produce for sale in future when prices are favourable.

Governor Patrick Khaemba launched the dryers at Kiminini Catholic Church where he also distributed cheques worth Sh19 million to support farmers to diversify.

According to the governor, the dryers have the capacity of drying up to 1,000 bags of 90kg per day.

Citing the ongoing rains as a serious threat to the current crop, Mr Khaemba said rotting of harvest was imminent hence the need to use mobile grain dryers .

“My government has procured these dryers to help farmers dry their crops to the required moisture content,” said the governor.

Khaemba was accompanied by deputy governor Stanley Tarus and County Executive Committee member for Agriculture Mary Nzomo.

In Uasin Gishu, farmers hope the ongoing rains will subside to enable them harvest wheat.

“We are currently gearing up to harvesting wheat because we expect rains to subside. Majority of farmers are small-scale and sell their produce to millers or traders immediately after harvesting but prices are still low,” said Tom Korgoren, a farmer in Uasin Gishu.

He said majority of farmers did not have good storage facilities, noting that wheat production had also been reducing over the years due to continued land fragmentation.

Christopher Kiptum, another farmer in Uasin Gishu, said harvesting of wheat had started.

He said despite reduced acreage, he expected better yields due to adequate rains throughout the season.

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