Written by John Kabaka
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The Labor Assistant Minister Sospeter O'jamoong being shown around the Kakamega Agricultural exhbition which begun Thursday in Kakamega County and it is expected to be officillly opened Friday by the Planiining Minister Wycliffe Oparanya [PHOTO | John Kabaka]
The annual Kakamega show is here. The show which opened its doors on Thursday runs from June 21st to Saturday 23rdJune 21, 2012.
This year's theme is enhancing technology in agriculture and industry for food security and national growth.
The show as always offers an array of products and services available in agriculture, greenhouse technologies, animal husbandry, and motor and fish industries.
The show ground on Thursday was relatively full but it is expected to fill up over the weekend.
Attractions at the fete include agricultural stands, where Kenya Seed Company has lined up its top quality products.
On Thursday the stand was privileged to host Assistant Minister for labor Sospeter O’ojamong. It is working on modalities of availing quality seeds in the market, aimed at maximizing returns.
O’ojamong urged the government to help farmers especially those with land but low financially with seed and fertilizer to improve the Nation’s food security.
He said that the funds the government has always used to import food should be given to farmers to improve their farming saying that will help a lot in curbing food insecurity.
“The government use a lot of money to import food to this nation but I must say if that money is given to farmers, then the Country will no longer have the food importation problems as we will have plenty here and fro export,” remarked Ojamoong.
“We have so many farmers with fertile lands but they lack the inputs to do the farming and this is where the government should come in and help them with the requirements,” said the minister.
National Chairman of ASK Western branch Elly Mukolwe, challenged the residents to embrace improved farming technology for optimal production and restock the grain baskets, which will in turn address the hunger situation in the country.
One would be forgiven to imagine they are in a foreign country when they tour the Kenya Seed Company (KSC) stand. ‘The green state’ has lined up products ranging from drought resistant, multipurpose sweet potato vines, hybrid maize seeds that can withstand harsh weather conditions, and a variety of vegetables; exotic and traditional.
KSC is encouraging farmers interested in tomato production to adopt the greenhouse technology, which not only increases production, but further produces disease tolerant products, and enhances early maturity.
The recent climate change, which has left most of the country dry and withered, can be attributed to the current shortage in agricultural production.
However, according to KSC Public sales representative, Albert Simba the company is producing seeds that will survive in harsh climatic conditions, and still give optimal results.
“We have seeds that are for dual purposes, high yielding, drought resistant and a shortened maturity period,” said Simba, who further appealed to the public to access the company’s products countrywide.
Kenyans’ attitude towards farming has as well been blamed, which he says is detrimental to the required motivation that needs to be instilled in farmers.
“Farming in Kenya is taken as a past time job, a perception that can be changed if laws are passed to ensure that only professional farmers are allowed to farm, as the rest engage in other income generating activities,” he said.
Another must-visit spot is the animal husbandry section, where among those on display are camels, variety of dairy heifers and bulls for slaughter.
The skin is used to make shoes; the hooves make expensive flower vases that range from Sh1500 per piece, while bones are converted into bangles, necklaces and earrings.
The bulls are fed on waste matter from sunflower combs and maize, which is combined with grass.
At fifteen months the cows are usually ready for slaughter, and are sold at auctions, where one animal normally trades for as high as Sh80, 000. Alternatively the animals can be sold after weighing them, where a single kilogram goes for Sh180.
Apart from showcasing agricultural innovations and new technologies among many display by sector players from within the region and the country at larger, the show also offers fun.
For the fanfare lovers there are merry-go rounds, jumping castles, face painting, mini train ride, and go- karting and camel rides.
There are also hotels and food kiosks available as business boom at the place. Entry for children is 100 while adults pay Ksh 150.
The show will be opened officially by the Planning and Vision 2030 minister Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya on Friday.
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