Sunday, September 18, 2011

Embrace indigenous food crops… told

The Ministry of Agriculture and its stakeholders had a national field day on September 14th 2011 which was attended by residents of Mutomo and Ikanga divisions of Mutomo District

Stakeholders who participated in the Field day included Arid Lands Information Network( ALIN ),Ministry of Agriculture,Ministry of Livestock production,National Bank of Kenya among others.

The field day, which was attended by among others the Provincial Director of Agriculture,Eastern Province Mr.Joseph Ngatho and the National Crops Officer Mr.Maina,attracted hundreds of community members who were eager to learn new agricultural ideas and technologies.

The theme of the field day was water harvesting,grow more food, land preparation and planting.

Different government departments,Non-Governmental Organizations,Community Based Organizations and Financial institutions had the the opportunity to showcase to the community members on the services and products they offer especially touching on the themes.

Speakers at the event stressed the importance of embracing indigenous food which can do well in the climatic conditions.Some of these crops named included sorghum,millet,green grams,cowpeas, sweet potatoes and cassava.

Residents were also encouraged to cultivate cotton as it not only does well in harsh climatic conditions but also can be a major income generating avenue now that the price of cotton has gone up.

Farmers were also encouraged to grow green grams and Gadam sorghum as they are drought escaping crops and have established market.

They were also implored to come up with production and marketing groups for ease of getting extension messages and to avoid exploitation by middlemen when marketing their products.

Farmers were also urged to prepare their farms early.

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