Brief news on agriculture and agribusiness from across the country

Friday April 13 2018
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A farmer attends to his tissue culture banana seedlings in Embu. Bomet County Government has kicked off the distribution of 100,000 tissue culture banana seedlings to farmers across its five sub-counties. FILE PHOTO | NMG


Farmers get cheaper banana seedlings

Bomet County government has kicked off the distribution of 100,000 tissue culture banana seedlings to farmers across its five sub-counties.

Governor Joyce Laboso said her administration had subsidised the cost of the suckers given to farmers to boost food security.

The county used Sh12.5 million to purchase the seedlings from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and the farmers will pay only Sh50 per seedling.

“Each of the 25 wards in the county will receive 4,000 seedlings for distribution to farmers to enable them diversify food production both for domestic and commercial purposes,” said the governor, who was speaking at Rotu farm in Kaplomboi in Sotik sub county this week.

She said that in the next financial year, her administration would set aside a similar amount to enable them distribute another round of suckers across Sotik, Konoin, Chepalungu, Bomet East and Bomet Central sub-counties.


The governor said that the aim of the project was to make Bomet a banana bread basket.

– Anita Chepkoech


Key agriculture meet to be held next week

The second conservation agriculture conference will be held next week from Tuesday in Nairobi.

The two-day event is expected to bring together over 350 participants from government (both national and county), NGOs and academia.

Issues that will be discussed include fall of armyworm attack and climate change. Myra Bernardi, Head of Agriculture from European Union Delegation to Kenya, said conservation agriculture would help farmers tackle current challenges.

Deputy President William Ruto will be the chief guest.

– Boniface Mwangi


Farmers tipped on best seeds for highlands

Farmers have been asked to use certified maize seeds to be able to curb pests and diseases.

SeedCo managing director Kassim Owino said that right seeds makes the difference in farming.

He noted that there were new seed varieties from the company for the highlands producing over 30 bags per acre. The three varieties were named as KH621A, KH621A (TWIGA 81 and TWIGA 83) and Tembo 73.

According to Owino, for the highlands, a spacing of either 25 by 75cm or 30 by 60cm is recommended.

He warned that if a farmer fails to plant in each hole, he will lose plants from each of those positions and compromise yields.

Major problems facing maize farmers include diseases like Maize Lethal Mecrosis Disease (MLMD) and Fall armyworm invasion.

“The solution for MLMD lies in seed breeding and I think so far there are two varieties that have been released,” noted Owino. With armyworms, he recommend the use of Corragen, March, Scant and Belt pesticides, which have shown strong results in controlling the pest.

Trans Nzoia executive in-charge of agriculture, Mary Nzomo, said the county governments is taking measures to control the pest.

– Gerald Bwisa