Experts in the Agricultural sector have called upon West Pokot farmers and other sector stakeholders to practice value addition to their produce, saying it is one of the ways through which they can reduce post-harvest losses.
Speaking during the ongoing annual Agricultural Show and Trade Fair at Kishaunet ground, Planning and Devolution, Permanent Secretary Mwanamaka Mabruki said farmers have to shift from traditional farming to modern techniques to realize better yields .
She said it is time farmers adopt new technologies and diversify into new crops that are commercially viable. The PS also pointed that climate change is real and farmers should therefore learn how to mitigate and adapt to its impact.
“Farmers should adopt sustainable land management practices that are resilient to the effects of climate change,” she emphasized.
Mwanamaka called on County government to connect with donors who will assist farmers to get new technology in farming to boost agribusiness.
“Agriculture is a big employer in this County and as a government we are ready to partner with Counties to ensure sustainable improvement in the sector,” she said.
She called on the Ministry of Agriculture to continue sensitizing farmers to embrace modern farming methods so that they are able to increase production, as well as reduce losses along the value chain. The PS further called upon both the national and county governments, community organizations, learning institutions to support sustainable management of natural resources.
“Human activities such as deforestation, farming on water catchment areas and poor farming practices have led to land degradation and destruction of the environment thus interfering with the ecosystem” She expressed.
West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin said the County government is already engaging a donor to put up a training institution that will offer training to farmers on modern technologies in agriculture.
He said the County has huge chunk of land that is viable for agriculture through irrigation but lack of funds has been a great challenge. He called on farmers to plant drought resistant crops that can do well in the region to ensure food security.
“This agricultural show is an initiative to ensure farmers are trained on how to practice modern farming methods to improve their yields and as a County government we are committed to support farmers,” he said.
Kachapin said the County government will partner with other investors from the agriculture sector to boost irrigation programmes in the County. He observed that the county government has already initiated several irrigation projects in the County in bid to change narrative of the County that has for long depended on relief food.
“We have already started irrigation programmes in several areas and even several investors are set to visit the region,” he said.
The four day event that was officially opened by Governor Simon Kachapin yesterday attracted a crop of exhibitors from different disciplines ranging from agriculture to finance institutions besides a substantial number of farmers who turned up.
A huge audience turned out from the start of the event at the new Kishaunet showground with masses interacting with the exhibitors at their different stands.