CURBING EROSION

Meru farmers trained in conservation agriculture

Programme engages farmers in avocado, macadamia, banana and Irish potato value chains

In Summary

• Farmers were trained in how to set up terraces, environmental conservation and digging semicircular buds for water harvesting.

• Those in hilly areas will now prepare terraces to curb soil erosion.

The Meru government, in partnership with the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project, has trained and certified more than 100 farmers in soil conservation.

The smallholder farmers were trained at the Kenya Agriculture Institute to raise each household’s income and undertake environmental conservation in everyday farming practices.

The refresher training was aimed at preparing county agricultural officers in helping small-scale farmers to tackle soil erosion while increasing rainwater harvesting and crop productivity.

The programme engages farmers in avocado, macadamia, banana and Irish potato value chains. Farmers were trained in how to set up terraces, environmental conservation and digging semicircular buds for water harvesting. Those in hilly areas will now prepare terraces to curb soil erosion.

Agriculture executive Carol Mutiga said her department hopes to help farmers tap into best practices while boosting their yields and comfortably feeding their families.

"Considering the most arable areas in Meru tend to be hilly, we thought it prudent to take our agricultural officers on setting up of terraces.

"Just by conserving the rich, fertile topsoil, our farmers' yields could tremendously increase on top of helping curb mudslides and floods.

"I call upon our farmers to coordinate with our agricultural officers in terracing their farms not only to maintain their farms but also to counter the adverse effects of global warming,” Mutiga said.

Research estimates that to feed the global population by 2050, the world will be required to produce the same amount of food produced for the past 2000 years all at once, by encouraging environment-friendly farming practices.

"Under the government of Governor Kiraitu Murungi, we are aiming at creating a friendly environment and supporting the farmers in growing themselves,” Mutiga said.