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GREENING THE ARID NORTH

MP Keynan roots for best farmer awards to encourage crop cultivation

'We are endowed with a fertile land with plenty of underground water'

In Summary

•Eldas MP says he will lead from the front to make the area and the county food secure

• Farmers to be provided with agricultural implements and a constant supply of water

 

Eldas MP Aden Keynan at Biliqo farm on Tuesday. He says he will soon introduce a programme in which the best farmers are recognised and rawarded.
FARM PRODUCE: Eldas MP Aden Keynan at Biliqo farm on Tuesday. He says he will soon introduce a programme in which the best farmers are recognised and rawarded.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

 

The recognition of the best cultivation methods through awards will encourage more people in Wajir to become farmers, according to Eldas MP Aden Keynan.

Keynan challenged pastoralists to venture into farming saying there was a need to diversify and stop over-relying on livestock due to climate change.

He spoke on Monday after visiting Biliqo Farm, one of the largest and most productive farms in Eldas town.

Keynan said, “We are endowed with a fertile land with plenty of underground water. I believe with commitment and dedication we can grow different varieties of fruits and vegetables.” 

 

The MP said he will lead from the front to make the area and the county food secure in line with the Big Four national government agenda of food security.

“We will continue helping our farmers with agricultural implements, cultivation equipment and ensure they have a constant supply of water. But even as we do this, I want to encourage our people to seriously venture into farming because it pays,” he said.

More pastoralists in northern Kenya are joining crop farming as an alternative source of livelihood due to frequent, prolonged and devastating effects of the drought occasioned by climate change.

Ibrahim Abdi, the chairman of Biliqo Farm, said they are already enjoying the benefits of crop farming.

“I can assure you that with the necessary support from the county an national governments and the leaders in general, we can be the county’s grain basket,” Abdi said.

“I urge my fellow pastoralists to embrace farming as it is the only way out of the problems we are facing, especially during the dry spells. At Biliqo we have food throughout the year and money in our pockets,” he said.

Wajir has embarked on the construction of water pans for use in both crop cultivation and livestock farming.

The World Food Programme-supported programme includes de-silting and expansion of existing water pans.

Governor Mohammed Abdi recently said his administration is committed to creating a favourable environment for agriculture so that Wajir can realise its optimal potential.

He challenged the pastoralists to start "thinking outside the box" to improve their livelihoods.