Save the date: ‘Seeds of Gold’ Farm Clinic to be held in Eldoret next Saturday

Wednesday March 18 2020
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Farmers and enthusiasts view sunflowers grown in a demonstration farm during a past Seeds of Gold farm clinic. This week sees farming activities lined up with the National Agriculture Summit set to be held in Nairobi then the Seeds of Gold farm clinic in Eldoret during the weekend. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRIAN OKINDA

Seeds of Gold is back on the road next Saturday with the Uasin Gishu Farm Clinic edition, the first of the series this year.

The event that will be held at the TAC Centre, behind Zion Mall in Eldoret, is sponsored by the Nation Media Group in partnership with knowledge partner Egerton University and the County Government of Uasin Gishu.

Fertiliser maker Mavuno is the title sponsor, while others are Eldoret Technical Training Institute, farm input suppliers Elgon Kenya Ltd and Cooper K-Brands Ltd, machinery firm Case IH, the Kenya Dairy Board, Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA), TransAfrica Motors Ltd, Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute, Africa Institute of Research and Development Studies, CMC Motors and Transglobal Distributors.

Its theme is ‘Climate smart agriculture: Fostering resilience for food security’. Farmers at the event will learn various innovative technologies and strategies that they can use to cope with the effects of climate change, which include locust incursions, to produce more food.

Experts from sponsor institutions will give farmers tips and knowledge on how to appropriately address issues that affect their farm productivity.

The event will feature a live TV panel discussion, training sessions, question-and-answer sittings, one-on-one interaction with experts as well as demonstrations by sponsors, giving farmers and agriculture enthusiasts an opportunity to interact with agro-experts and dealers on different agribusiness topics, farm equipment and inputs.

“Farmers will have the opportunity to network with agriculture and financial experts, learn from the live demonstrations by exhibitors, explore and expand their possibilities to grow their farm output, and get potential clientele for their produce,” said James Sogoti, the general manager at the NMG.

The clinic will run from 8am to 4pm and farmers only need a copy of the Saturday Nation to get in.

Elgon Kenya Ltd’s marketing and communications director Nelson Maina notes that the clinic could not have come at a better time since the country is currently grappling with challenges posed by climate change, including the desert locusts.

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Agriculture sector leaders to hold summit next week

More than 400 agriculture sector leaders will meet in Nairobi next week to discuss ways of spurring growth.

The event slated for February 26 to 27 at Safari Park and dubbed National Agriculture Summit is a joint effort of the Ministry of Agriculture, the private sector and various international development agencies.

It will involve participants from the national and county governments, farmer organisations, research institutions, private sector, NGOs and development partners.

“It is easier to bolster our commitments if we speak in one voice as an industry and that is why this conference is timely. We want to expedite our commitments to the sector and we can only achieve this through partnership,” said Lee Karuri, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance Foundation chairman.

The summit will also see the launch of the national private sector-led agriculture apex body dubbed National Agriculture Network, which draws its membership from government, private sector and development agencies.

“As agriculture continues to play a pivotal role to the bulk of the population and to propel the country’s economic growth, we need to be united, innovative and have proactive approaches that address all issues in the value chain while coordinating interventions from government, the private sector, farmer organisations and development partners,” said Bimal Kantaria, the co-chair of the National Agriculture Network.

The summit themed ‘Building partnerships for the transformation, growth and competitiveness of the agriculture sector in Kenya’ will also see the unveiling of a three-year agricultural transformation road map by the private sector.

“This summit is historic, considering that it is the first time we are doing this. It is a culmination of a number of stakeholder engagements since 2019. We hope that by the end of the summit, we will have come up with a unique way of identifying the major challenges affecting the sector. Time is ripe for us to transform the agriculture sector,” said Dr Kantaria.