World ploughing contest returns to Kenyan soil

Tuesday September 12 2017

Kenya is set to host the World Ploughing Contest for the second time in Egerton next month. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya is set to host the World Ploughing Contest for the second time in Egerton next month. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By BONFACE OTIENO
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At least 20 countries have confirmed participation in the 64th World Ploughing Contest (WPC) set for Ngongongeri Farm in Egerton University in November.

The Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Chief Executive Officer Batram Muthoka, said the event, which will be happening in Kenya for the second time after two decades -and will be on for 10 days - targets 32 countries by end of next month.

Confirmed participation

The ASK official said so far some of the countries that have confirmed participation include Canada, Switzerland, Netherlands, Wales, USA, Ireland, France and Finland.

Others are Spain, Denmark, Australia, Macedonia, Norway, Australia, Belgium and New Zealand.

“As at now, we have 250 delegates from the above countries that have confirmed participation. Normally, this comprises two competitors per country, a coach and a judge and supporters from the same country. For example, France has 25 participants,” he said.

Depth of furrows

Mr Muthoka said during the contest, the depth of furrows should be such that the slice is cut completely free from the under-soil surface throughout the whole length of the crown.

He said the furrow slices in the crown should lie close against each other with gaps or openings.

All crown furrows, he said, must also be uniform and level with the rest of seed bed and should conform to the rest of the ploughing.

The ASK official said the finish must be straight and parallel to the crown.

“The last slice should be ploughed in such a way that no loose soil falls into the finish furrow and this last slice must be laid towards the competitor’s crown. The finish should be no deeper than the rest of the ploughing and should not be wider than the normal furrow which the plough leaves,” he explained.

The Kenya Ploughing Organisation (KPO) was established in 1966 under the agricultural society.

The main objective of organisation is to organise national ploughing contests in which ploughmen compete in demonstrating their skills in preparation of good seed bed while at the same time, serving as educative fora for farmers.

Ploughing heats

KPO is affiliated to the World Ploughing Organisation (WPO) and has representation in the WPO board.

It organises ploughing heats in all the 16 ASK branches countrywide with winners then competing at the national level.

Two winners from this event then proceed to represent Kenya in the WPC.

To date, only South Africa and Kenya participate in this event from Africa.

Kenya’s performance has been average, with competitors improving their skills over the time.

The country has participated in over 25 annual WPC and the last four were held in Canada, France, Denmark and England in 2016.

The event attracted 40 countries when it came to Kenya for the first time in 1995.