Farmers in the semi-arid areas in the North Rift region have been advised to prepare their land early and plant indigenous drought resistant crops to increase food production.
Speaking on Friday at the County Agricultural show and trade fair at Kishaunet show ground in Kapenguria, West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said that farmers are used to planting maize but this year they should diversify and plant other crops due to the predicted uneven distribution of rainfall.
He added that diversification will ensure food security and thus there will be plenty of food even if the drought persisted.
“We have seen a variety of maize, vegetables and other cereals in this year’s agricultural show. We have witnessed effects of Covid -19 and now we want our people to go to farms to produce more food for eating and selling. They should plant crops themselves for them to get natural minerals,”he said.
He cited that the County Government has invested in a small irrigation scheme.
“We want the national governments to set up many mega dams in dry areas .We have done value addition on crops cassava and honey and now we have the best in the Country which people scramble for,”he said.
The annual Agricultural show and trade fair themed “Promoting Technology in Agriculture and trade sector.
The four days event which started on 14th December was opened by Governor Prof. John Lonyangapuo among other dignitaries will end on Saturday.
The trade fair attracted exhibitors from different disciplines ranging from agriculture to finance institutions besides a substantial number of farmers who are expected to turn up at Kishaunet showground.
A range of agricultural products were displayed at the event that showcased different types of livestock and crops in the region.
Prof Lonyangapuo noted that the show is aimed at equipping them with farming technologies in the region which has a great potential for agricultural production.
“I want to encourage farmers to always take part in the annual event so that we can learn new technologies and promote agricultural
He said the show was highly interactive and educative hence will attract many attendants than before.
“We have improved on what was there last year. We have invited local and national comedians who will entertain people,”he said.
He said the event is crucial in dissemination of new technologies and practices for growth of agriculture and industrialization.
The Governor observed that crops have done better because of the good weather and it will have many exhibitors.
Prof Lonyangapuo said the event directed and refocused minds, energy and efforts towards enhancing food security and promoting industrialization.
“As a county we are embracing technology and its application geared towards modernizing agriculture,” he said.
He said the show addresses new approaches for establishment of cottage industries geared towards value-addition of our agricultural produce and mineral resources.
“The event has drawn more than 50 exhibitors from all sectors of the Kenyan economy. A lot of learning will take place and everyone will benefit from the opportunities created by stakeholder contact and exchange of knowledge,” he said.
He said farmers and exhibitors used to travel over 48 kilometers to Kitale for the annual function.
The County boss encouraged farmers to attend the event noting that it will help improve farming technologies.
“The region has great potential for agricultural production if farmers enhance modern technologies in farming,”said Prof Lonyangapuo.
He alluded to the fact that the Trade Fair provides an opportunity for all actors in the agricultural and trade value chain to interact, share ideas and establish business linkages.
“It is my hope that all stakeholders will make the best use of this event,”he said.
Governor Lonyangapuo said that farmers have been sensitized on the use of the right fertilizer in show.