• County plans to grow high-quality seedlings for farmers at the Agricultural Training Centre at Chebororwa in Moiben.
• Four hundred acres of avocados in 10 years can produce as much as Sh700 million, as much as Sh20,000 per tree.
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago is urging farmers in North Rift to diversify from maize to other high-value crops to increase profits.
Mandago said farmers who started growing high-value crops in 2014 have been reaping big. He said the county will distribute more seedlings.
The governor said the county has resolved to make the Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) at Chebororwa in Moiben subcounty a centre of excellence for production of quality high-value seedlings.
“Many farmers have harvested and begun testing the fruits of these crops that were distributed by the county department of Agriculture go broaden their economic earning base," Mandago said.
The agricultural training centre is currently producing coffee, macadamia, tissue culture banana and avocado seedlings, which have been distributed to many farmers.
More than 400,000 coffee seedlings, 290,000 avocado seedlings, 35,000 for macadamia and 17,000 tissue culture bananas have been distributed to more than 2,000 farmers.
Mandago and his deputy Daniel Chemno spoke in Eldoret when he received a taskforce report on implementation of the County Service Delivery Entities.
He said the seedlings produced at Chebororwa meet the international standards and the farmers need to utilise and fully make use of the paradigm shift.
Chemno said the climatic condition is favourable for the production of these high-value crops amid high global demand.
He said the crops covering 400 acres can give a farmer a turnover of as much as Sh700 million per year. He said in the first year, a farmer can make as much as Sh300 per tree and by the end of the fifth and the tenth year, a projection of Sh8,000 and Sh15,000 to Sh20,000 per tree respectively.
Mandago, who is also chairman of the North Rift Economic Bloc that brings together eight counties, said other counties in the region have also adopted crop diversification to empower the farmers.
(Edited by V. Graham)