Growth of real es­tate won’t hurt agri­cul­ture, says Kabogo

Gover­nor says there are ef­forts through the Lands depart­ment to de­velop poli­cies that will guide land use as well as adop­tion of new farm­ing meth­ods in ur­ban cen­tres

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Central - LEWIS NYAUNDI @X_nyaun­diH

Ki­ambu county will safe­guard agri­cul­ture amidst the growth in real es­tate de­vel­op­ment, which has re­duced farm­land, Gover­nor William Kabogo has said.

He said his gov­ern­ment is aware of the grow­ing num­ber of pri­vate real es­tate de­vel­op­ers in Ki­ambu. “There are ef­forts, through the Lands depart­ment, to de­velop poli­cies that will guide land use,” Kabogo said yes­ter­day.

He said the Ki­ambu ad­min­is­tra­tion has called for the adop­tion of new farm­ing meth­ods suit­able for ur­ban and peri-ur­ban ar­eas.

“The Agri­cul­ture depart­ment has come up with ap­pro­pri­ate tech­nolo­gies, in­clude green­house farm­ing, hy­dro­pon­ics, aquapon­ics and drip ir­ri­ga­tion,” the gover­nor said.

YOUTH TAKE UP FARM­ING

Due to its prox­im­ity to Nairobi, the county has ex­pe­ri­enced a surge in mega de­vel­op­ments, both com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial. They in­clude the 2,500-acre Tatu City in­dus­trial park.

The gover­nor said new tech­nolo­gies in farm­ing have at­tracted more youth to the busi­ness once seen as an af­fair for old peo­ple.

“The new tech­nolo­gies, like green­house, fish farm­ing and rab­bit breed- ing, have com­pelled more youth to ven­ture into the in­dus­try,” he said.

Kabogo said the county has set up an af­ford­able credit fund — County Bi­ashara Fund — to en­cour­age youth into farm­ing.

He said the county gov­ern­ment is work­ing on spear­head­ing food se­cu­rity by en­cour­ag­ing farm­ers to con­cen­trate on cash crops, such as tea and cof­fee, cow­peas and other veg­eta­bles.

Among other agri­cul­tural ven­tures Ki­ambu county has launched in­clude ir­ri­ga­tion projects to ben­e­fit about 2,000 house­holds.

The county aims to en­sure farm­ers ac­cess sub­sidised fer­tiliser to re­duce the cost of in­puts.

COLLINS KWEYU

Work­ers at the con­struc­tion of Tatu City in Ki­ambu on March 24/

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