- Dr Koech decried low soil testing in the region, noting that many farmers visit their offices to perform soil testing on their farms but give up along the way.
- She said many farmers only know of soil PH while the overall soil health includes chemical, physical and biological aspects.
Experts from Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation now say that farmers in Western are getting low farm produce because of low soil testing in the region.
Dr Mary Koech, a research scientist at KALRO, said that Western farms have lost nutrients due to the continuous cultivation that has led to mining of nutrients by one crop.
She was speaking at Mabanga Agricultural Training College on Wednesday during the soil fertility day.
“Most farms in Bungoma, nutrients have been mined and that is shown by the declining yields seen in the region,” Dr Koech said.
She however called on farmers to do frequent soil testing on their farms, even as she affirmed KALRO's role in supporting farmers to produce more yields and ensure there is food security.
The scientist said organisation helps to validate fertilisers provided by different companies if they work efficiently in a given region.
She also called on the farmers to use the recommended fertiliser quantities to avoid nutrient depletion.
Dr Koech decried low soil testing in the region, noting that many farmers visit their offices with the aim of performing soil testing on their farms but give up along the way.
She said many farmers only know of soil PH while the overall soil health includes chemical, physical and biological aspects.
The scientist urged farmers to avoid monocropping, saying it depletes soil nutrients.
“Farmers should practice rotational farming as a way of avoiding depleting soil nutrients,” she said.
Dr Koech called on farmers to use the post-harvest management technologies while preserving their farm produce to avoid invasion of weevils and other store pests.
Judy Odongo, deputy of chief of party Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems activity, said the World Soil Day gives farmers an opportunity to learn the importance of soil testing because it is an integral part of farming to fight for hunger.
“Western region is one of the places farmers have been practicing monocropping, let us change and focus on agribusiness,” she said.
(edited by Amol Awuor)