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Mechanisation of rice farming gathers pace

By Olivia Odhiambo | December 4th 2021

Massey Ferguson 2168 rice harvester that has doubled rice harvest in Kano west and Ahero paddy fields in Kisumu County. (Collins Oduor, Standard)

An initiative has been launched to promote mechanisation of rice farming in Western Kenya.

Under the Capacity Development Project for Enhancement of Rice Production and Productivity Irrigation Scheme (CaDPRP) in Kenya, the growers were on Thursday sensitised on investments opportunities in rice mechanisation.

Speaking during in Korowe, Kisumu County, CaDPRP Mechanisation Officer Quinter Owawo challenged the farmers, who mainly rely on manual rice planting and harvesting, to embrace mechanisation to improve production.

She said according to a survey conducted by CaDPRP, farmers in Ahero, Bunyala and Lower Kuja have not invested in tractors, rice mills and other value additions. Ms Owawo said the Mwea region in Kirinyaga County had increased rice production through mechanisation.

She said the survey established that Nyanza and Western regions have only 20 rice mills.

“This is a clear indication that farmers need to mechanise rice farming,” said Owawo.

She noted that local milling of rice would open doors for other businesses like chicken feed production to thrive.

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