Kitale - KEPHIS held its first farmers field day this year at the regional office in Kitale, where over 200 farmers were exposed to newly released and better performing crop varieties to enable them make informed decisions while purchasing certified seed. The field day was held at a time when farmers are planting during this short rains season. Farmers were shown various crops including medium and late maize varieties, beans including iron rich varieties, Irish and sweet potato varieties, indigenous vegetables, Sukuma wiki (kale) and amaranthus. The field day also aimed to educate farmers on various methods of enhancing diversification of agricultural technologies for nutrition and food security which is one of the pillars of the Big 4 Agenda. Trans Nzoia County, where the field day was held, is part of Kenya's bread basket and whose predominant crop is maize.
Ag. GM for Quality Assurance Simon Maina who represented the Ag MD advised farmers to plant certified seeds suitable for the Trans Nzoia agro ecological zone. "Farmers should also diversify their crops to enhance their livelihoods," he stated.
Trans Nzoia CEC Henry Metto who was the chief guest encouraged farmers to diversify their crops as part of good agricultural practices. "For example, instead of planting maize, you can plant fruits and vegetables," he advised. He further urged them to make use of their kitchen gardens to grow nutritious foods.
CEC Bungoma Matthews Wanjala challenged the farmers to take advantage of the short rains to plant alternative crops such as potatoes, beans, indigenous vegetables, soya beans, ground nuts and fodder crops.
It is never too late to learn about new agricultural technologies and diversification of crops