Written by Frankline Bwire
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The National Director of Agricultural Training College’s (ATC) Philip Makheti (left) and the Busia agricultural officer Samson Khachina during the Busia County farmers field day. [PHOTO | Frankline Bwire | West Fm]
The National Director of Agricultural Training College’s (ATC) Philip Makheti has said that the government is committed towards improving agricultural institutions to provide farmers with adequate knowledge to boost food security.
He said that despite improving the existing training colleges, they intend to build more in different parts of the country.
And these include Kitale, Elgeiyo Marakwet, Nakuru, Kericho, Migori, Kwale and Moyale, each at a cost of Sh 10 million.
Speaking at the Busia ATC during the farmer’s field day, Makheti said that several projects are going on in some of the existing training colleges in the country among them Maseno, Busia and Siaya where Busia alone has already received Sh 6 million.
He revealed that government through the ministry of agriculture in collaboration with other stakeholders have remitted a total of Sh 800 million as security to various banks to release Sh 8 billion to farmers to enable them undertake agri-business and help reduce the high poverty levels.
“The farmers should take advantage of the available credit facilities to diversify in various farming activities that will help them generate income,” said Makheti, adding that farmers should avoid shying away from loans in fear that their property will be auctioned.
He urged leaders of Busia County to avoid transforming the Busia ATC into a University, stressing that the institution is of great benefit to farmers in the region and the neighboring country Uganda in terms of offering knowledge in agriculture.
“This will be an exhibition ground to farmers and as stakeholders we should encourage them to take advantage of the institution to gain knowledge on new techniques of undertaking agriculture,” said the director.
He however, challenged area residents to embrace family planning methods following the high rate of population in the area and to help reduce the increased poverty levels.
Present were the Busia County Commissioner Joyce Isiakho, Musa Otieno who was representing the Western Provincial Director of Agriculture and the Busia Agricultural Officer Samson Khachina.
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