Written by Joseph Amunya Otieno
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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock Production and Development Mr. Kenneth Lusaka addressing livestock farmers in when he toured Likuyani, Lugari and Matete district. Photo I Joseph Amunya
Western province risks grappling with the problem of food shortage and insecurity in the near future unless farmers reconsider their decision to engage in cash crop farming.
Addressing livestock farmers in Lugari, Likuyani and Matete district during his one day tour in the area, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock Production and Development Mr. Kenneth Lusaka said that it was worrying to note recent trends which indicate that a large percentage of arable land has been converted into sugar cane plantation in the region in the last five years.
The PS urged farmers in Western Province to capitalize on the region’s fertile soils and adequate rainfall and approach mixed farming like any other business activity, but not just as a pastime activity.
Giving an example of Turkana where oil was recently discovered, Lusaka challenged residents of western province to take farming as their main economic activity adding that as the country moves into devolution, counties will only be identified in relation to their main sources of livelihoods.
Lusaka said that although farming had been identified as a key pillar capable of spurring economic development as well as eradicating poverty in the four counties of western province, he was quick to advise area residents to practice balanced farming in order to improve on their food reserves as well as attracting foreign exchange.
Speaking at Lwandeti area in Matete district, Lusaka urged farmers holding smaller portions of land to invest in livestock and other smaller holder activities such as poultry and fish farming but spare sugar cane farming to those with large tracts of land.
While in Likuyani district, the PS presided over the official opening and commissioning of an office at Soy cum launching ceremony of an Artificial Insemination (AI) scheme for dairy farmers that will serve dairy farmers in area.
During his tour of tour of Lugari district, the PS was accompanied by the National Director Livestock Production Mr. Julius Kiptarus,
Western Provincial Director of Livestock Production Dr. Florence Odera, Lugari District Livestock Production Officer Mr. Wellington Mang’oli and his Matete and Likuyani counterparts Anthony Mwangi and Joash Wanyonyi respectively
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