By Francis Mwema, January 25, 2023, Kenya and the Turkish government have partnered and announced an upgrade and installation of a drip irrigation system and the construction of a modern coffee seed propagation unit in Ruiru, Kiambu county.
Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization (KALRO) Deputy Director General in charge of Crops Dr. Felista Makini says through the partnership, Kenya will be able to double its current demand for the seed which is about 4 tons per year in the country, against the average production of about 2 tons.
The seed propagator has the capacity to propagate 40kgs of seed equivalent to 140,000 seedlings. It will also have the capability of grafting 14,000 seedlings at a go.
According to Dr. Felista Makini Kenya is targeting to increase export its earnings in the country with higher incomes for coffee growers.
The project is one of the many that the Turkish government has established in Kenya has been in the country for the last 11 years and has more than 200 projects in the areas of agriculture, educational capacity building, and income-generating projects.
Meanwhile, The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries in collaboration with the Society of Crops Agribusiness advisors of Kenya (SOCCA) has started the implementation of smart climate agriculture in Nakuru County as it seeks to enhance food security in the country through the county governments.
The ministry’s initiative is part of the plan of cascading the practice of Climate Smart Agricultural in order to reach farmers countrywide and increase food production.
Nakuru County Climate Smart Agricultural Officer, Stephen Mureithi said the flowing and implementation of effective mitigation programmes at the grassroots would assist the farmers to continue producing enough food for the country despite the threats of climate change such as droughts.
The Officer said one livestock and agricultural officer will be trained from each of the eleven sub-counties and they will be expected to train other officers and farmers on how to handle challenges of climate change but still produce food.
Mureithi who was speaking on Wednesday at the Nakuru Agricultural Training Centre at Soilo noted that unlike in the past when farmers simply ploughed their farms, applied fertilizer, planted and weeded crops, and waited to harvest, climate change has changed this routine.
He said there was an urgent need for soil regeneration through treatment to reduce the acidity and planting of sufficient trees on each and every farm in order to prevent soil erosion and ensure water was retained.
He noted that the programmes agreed upon at the 27th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 27) meeting in Egypt last year in November, was being implemented in the country through the climate action department at the ministry of agriculture in collaboration with the county agricultural officers.
Mureithi urged farmers to plant fruits such as avocados, papaws, and mangoes because they create effective ground cover and were beneficial to families.
Apart from that, he appealed to farmers to change their mindset and move away from rain-fed agriculture since it wasn’t attainable anymore. Giving an example of the current drought he said, it was disheartening that large portions of farms in the county are still fallow because the farmers are waiting for the rainy season to start planting.
However, he said seasonal planting should be a thing of the past since the worldwide climate alteration has changed and modified seasons. And nobody could predict effectively when the rains or drought cycles would embark and end.