31 October 2014
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Nakuru farmers blame selves for plummeting food production

Nakuru County farmers have attributed the dwindling production of food in the area to their failure to diversify their agricultural activities.

 They say the overdependence on the common methods of farming which overtime become unproductive is hurting their season to season harvests.

The farmers claim that the growth of only one particular group of food crops in the region concurrently has depleted the productivity of their pieces of farming land.

The farmers drawn from Subukia, Nakuru North and Nakuru were attending a one-day-seminar on ways of promoting food security in Nakuru County and finding ways of mitigating the effects of climate change in the region.

They urged other local farmers to adopt efficient farming methods including agro forestry, rotational and mixed farming.

During the workshop which was organized by the Sustainable Practical Program for Africa in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the farmers called for training in the skills that will enable then successfully diversify their productivity.

“We may be blamed for ignorance resulting to low harvests as we are experiencing now but we need to be equipped with the information about how to move from only planting maize  to a mixture of a variety of crops and also trees on the same piece of land,”  said Stellah Kariuki from Subukia.

The farmers also identified the need for the government to establish proficient mechanisms that will enable them to add value to the available food crops in the country.

In this way, they said they could sell their produce at a better price to boost income from their harvests.

“It is so unfair that we struggle to grow maize, potatoes, arrowroots and even the beans, sell them to foreign countries at a very cheap price, then they add few things here and there, then import the same produce in a different form, sell it to us expensively. Let the government give us the power,” said Robert Chesire from Nakuru North.

Responding to the farmers queries on steps taken by the Ministry of Agriculture to boost their farming systems, the Nakuru District Agricultural officer Stephen Mureithi said the government will be rolling out walking tractors in region to facilitate their farming.

Peter Waweru, SUPPA chief executive officer said they will be meeting the farmers from all the eleven constituencies in the county, to collect their views on the state of food security and impacts of climate changein the county.

“After that we will involve the government and other non-state actors to engage the necessary machinery and expertise to find ways of solving the challenges the farmers are facing in each particular area,” said Waweru.

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