IMPROVED EXTENSION SERVICES

Embu farmers urged to take up modern farming

County educating them on best practices and most favourable crops for county

In Summary

• During a field day organised by Agriculture department, farmers were taken through the best nutrient management practices. 

• CEC says department will ensure Agrovets sell certified seeds to farmers.  

Acting Embu Agriculture executive Dr Jamleck Muturi on October 10, 2015.
AGRIBUSINESS: Acting Embu Agriculture executive Dr Jamleck Muturi on October 10, 2015.
Image: FILE

Embu government is educating farmers in the county to venture into modern food crop farming. 

The county's Agriculture department has partnered with different seed companies and the Seed Trade Association of Kenya to improve extension services to farmers. 

In the programme, farmers will be trained on appropriate varieties of maize, beans and other crops that would do well in the county. 

Traditional farmers will also be advised on best post-harvest measures to reduce losses. 

Speaking at a Farmers' Field Day at Kamuthatha in Kithimu ward, acting CEC Jamleck Muturi said they will ensure farmers have the appropriate varieties of seeds and professional technical advice.  

He said the department will ensure Agrovets sell certified seeds to farmers.  

"We will support our farmers with ploughing machines and certified seeds. We are going to support them with training to make sure that they produce the best," he added. 

During the event organised by the department, farmers were taken through the best nutrient management practices. 

The event also provided a forum where farmers could engage policy makers and agricultural experts on the challenges facing them in crop production. 

Muturi called on the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service to monitor Agrovets and see that they sell certified seeds. He said extension services will be enhanced to improve farmers' awareness of the best agronomic practices. 

However, Kephis quality assurance general manager Simeon Kibet said the level of fake seeds in the market has fallen from highs of 40 per cent to two per cent. 

“Farmers should buy certified seeds only from the companies that we have registered. They should scratch the Kephis logo on the seeds packet to find a number that when sent through SMS to 1393, will establish the exact variety, its producer, the batch and its lifespan," Kibet said. 

“Also, if the seeds fail to germinate or have poor germination rate, they should report to us. Through this method, we have beaten the fake seeds and are working to eliminate them."

Farmers were also provided with newly developed extension materials to guide them on the best agronomic practices for maize production and help them in the identification and interpretation of nutrient deficiencies. 

STAK vice chairman David Kiplangat advised farmers to forget the traditional methods of farming as a way of increasing production. 

"Stop growing crops because the season has come, venture into this modern farming practice called Agribusiness and you will reap big from your farms," he said. Kiplangat doubles as the General Manager for Simlaw Seeds. 

Farmer Lydia Wawira said there is a need for the county government to ensure timely distribution of seeds to farmers. 

Muturi revealed that the county government is ready to seek a market on behalf of farmers for their harvested crops. 

Edited by R.Wamochie