The Star (Kenya)

Awiti rolls out Sh8m stim­u­lus pack­age for Homa Bay farm­ers

County has bought cer­ti­fied seeds and sub­sidised fer­tiliser for crop pro­duc­tion

- ROBERT OMOLLO @rober­to­mollo3 Business · Farm Equipment · Food Industry · Agriculture · Livestock Industry · Drought · Infectious Diseases · Industries · Natural Disasters · Disasters · Health Conditions

Se­lect Homa Bay farm­ers will get seeds and fer­tiliser to boost crop pro­duc­tion through a Sh8 mil­lion post-covid-19 stim­u­lus project.

Some 100 farm­ers from each of the county’s 40 wards have al­ready been iden­ti­fied.

Governor Cyprian Awiti’s ad­min­is­tra­tion is de­ploy­ing the Agri­cul­ture depart­ment’s ex­ten­sion of­fi­cers to dis­trib­ute the seeds and fer­tiliser and train farm­ers on best prac­tices.

Awiti urged res­i­dents to em­bark on farm­ing and take ad­van­tage of the cur­rent rainy sea­son.

“My gov­ern­ment bought cer­ti­fied seeds for var­i­ous crops for peo­ple. The seeds will be dis­trib­uted to farm­ers and I want our peo­ple to con­cen­trate on farm­ing,” Awiti said.

Awiti said on Wed­nes­day that the project is part of the eco­nomic re­cov­ery strat­egy plan. The ad­min­is­tra­tion wants to help res­i­dents bounce back from the rav­ages of the Covid-19 pandemic. A lot of busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties were dis­rupted and many jobs lost with the out­break of the coronaviru­s.

The county chief told journalist­s at the county’s head­quar­ters that youths will also be tar­geted in the pro­gramme.

“Let our ex­ten­sion of­fi­cers in­cor­po­rate youths be­sides lo­cal farm­ers in the pro­gramme to en­sure we de­velop to­gether. Dur­ing field­work en­sure youths are taught agri-busi­ness for their fu­ture ben­e­fit,” Awiti said. Some of the crops grown in Homa Bay are maize, beans and sorghum. Most farm­ers de­pend on rains for their crop pro­duc­tion.

Awiti di­rected Agri­cul­ture ex­ec­u­tive Aguko Juma to en­sure ex­ten­sion of­fi­cers help farm­ers get the seeds and other sub­sidised farm in­puts. He warned against theft of the seeds and farm in­puts.

“We have pro­vided sub­sidised fer­tiliser to some farm­ers who are en­gag­ing in in­ten­sive agri­cul­ture. My ad­min­is­tra­tion has also pro­vided plough­ing ser­vices to farm­ers in their groups,” the governor said.

An­other area of sup­port in agri­cul­ture is poul­try and fish farm­ing. Farm­ers will get free ad­vice from ex­perts from the county gov­ern­ment to en­able them to be­come self-re­liant.

“I want the depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture to or­gan­ise on how lo­cal farm­ers can be trained through their reg­is­tered co­op­er­a­tive so­ci­eties to en­hance their yields,” Awiti said.

Juma said the depart­ment had set aside money for fish farm­ers.

“My depart­ment has al­lo­cated funds to buy fish­er­men qual­i­fied fish­ing nets and hooks. We’re do­ing all th­ese to sup­port our peo­ple grow the county’s econ­omy,” Juma said.

He added that the county will buy fin­ger­lings for farm­ers rear­ing fish in ponds.

Homa Bay has recorded 62 pos­i­tive cases of Covid-19 since the out­break of the virus in the coun­try back in March.

 ?? /ROBERT OMOLLO ?? Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti out­side his of­fice in May
/ROBERT OMOLLO Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti out­side his of­fice in May
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya