Improve post-harvest practices for food
security, growers told
In a bid to successfully achieve food security in the country, farmers have been urged to adopt new technologies and innovations for greater economic stability and improved health.
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) lecturer Dr Paul Kinoti urged farmers develop simple but effective innovations to address food insecurity crisis.
The innovations, he said, will further help the country tackle unemployment, provide nutrition and address malnutrition issues in villages.
Speaking when Jkuat hosted hundreds of farmers from Bungoma, Kakamega and Siaya for training yesterday, Kinoti said there is need for farmers to be fully equipped with contemporary post-harvesting and processing of food for value addition which is key for increased profits.
At the same time, Kinoti noted that farmers require extra knowledge about simple farming techniques that do not require a lot of water and space to enable even the ones without adequate land practice farming to make the country food secure.
He urged county governments to embrace ideas formulated by institutions of higher learning and localise them for use by farmers for enhanced production.
“Value addition is very critical in ensuring farmers get maximum profit,” said Kinoti. Faith Innocent from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale (GIZ), the main German development agency, said farmers from Western counties have been grappling with soil degradation which has resulted in low production.
In collaboration with Welthungerhilfe, a Western-based non-profit organisation, Innocent noted that GIZ is working with over 180,000 farmers from the region for soil protection and rehabilitation for better production.
She attributed high soil degradation to monoculture, incorrect use of inorganic fertilizers, high soil PH among others.
“We are working towards helping farmers get the best out of their hard work,” Innocent noted.
Titus Omengo, Director in charge of Agriculture in Kakamega called on the government to reintroduce extension services to help pass on proper farming practices to farmers and consider reducing farm inputs for reduced costs of production.