Kenya Seed Company revives partnership with Weiwei irrigation scheme in West Pokot County

Kenya Seed MD Fred Oloibe
Kenya Seed MD Fred Oloibe

The Kenya Seed Company has revived its partnership with Weiwei irrigation scheme in West Pokot County in a bid to boost seed and food production.

This is after the irrigation scheme got low yields in the last two planting seasons due to challenges of high fertilizer prices, transportation and use of poor quality seeds.

The company is now set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the scheme.

Kenya seed Managing Director Fred Oloibe said that starting next year they will be producing seeds in the area on 1200 acres of land.

“We are back in Weiwei. We shall sign a new contract for the next planting season of 2023-2024.We shall work with the government to transform agriculture. We have already given farmers fertilizers at low prices,” he said.

Mr. Oloibe who visited the scheme at Sigor and held talks with farmers on Monday, noted that they will partner with the Government to offer subsidized fertilizer for the coming planting season for the purpose of reducing cost of production.

Mr. Oloibe said that the company now has fair prices for buying maize seed at Shs 82 per kilogram from the initial Shs 62 adding that they will review the payment period promptly.

He cited that the company will take farmers for an exposure tour and offer training on agriculture for them to learn new skills.

“We shall also set up demonstration plots on seeds for farmers to learn. We want farmers to plant quality and basic variety seeds hence plant long and short term crops,” he said.

He also said that they will partner with the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) to plant trees along the Sangat water intake to help mitigate effects of climate change.

Weiwei irrigation scheme Chairperson Mark Meut said they got a loss the last two planting seasons adding that they didn’t plant during this season.

“We got 195,000kgs of maize seeds and food worth Sh 15.3 in the planting season 2021-2022, 75,000kgs of maize seeds and food worth Sh.5 million during the short and long rains of 2022-2023. Initially, we were getting 300,000 Kgs worth Sh. 40 million.” he said.

KVDA planning Director David Onyango said that they have put in place new strategies to help local farmers to enhance farming.

“Residents now have an alternative means of survival and we need other areas of the valley to follow suit. We have worked well with Kenya seed for more than 35 years,” said Mr. Meut.

He called on the Government to intervene to help avert the looming hunger in the region.

‘We are organizing ourselves to get the hustlers fund. We have challenges in farming and we have taken loans from banks because of the high cost of living. We expected bumper harvest but didn’t because of high prices of farm inputs,” he said.