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Relief to farmers as County government purchases maize driers

(From left) Trans Nzoia county Agricultural Chief Officer Robert Musikoyo shows one of the parts of the automated maize drier with a county staff holding an operational manual, (on the right). The county Agricultural Machinery Services Manager, Balozi Misoy

Trans Nzoia county government has procured two modern maize driers worth Sh 18 million in a bid to reduce post- harvest loses in the area.
Speaking when he launched the driers at the county headquarters Thursday, the County’s chief officer in charge of agricultural Robert Musikoyo said the maize driers had a capacity of 11 tones which was equivalent to 122 bags of 90kg for every loading.
Musikoyo said maize farmers lost a lot of their produce during the post-harvest period and the driers will limit the amount of time spent on sun drying the cereals.
He said it was the responsibility of the county government to support local farmers with the aim of enabling them get profit for their produce which in-turn would improve on their livelihood.
“These maize driers will be of importance to farmers for they will reduce the amount of time used currently to remove moisture from maize,” he said.
He noted that the two maize driers will be stationed at Kiminini and Saboti constituencies but his office has plans to buy driers for other constituencies that do not have.
He said that the two dries will supplement what the national government had provided for Kwanza and Cherangany constituencies.
“Big losses are always incurred by farmers during the post-harvest period, these machines will help farmers to dry their maize in time, store them and market the produce on time,” he said.
The chief officer however asked farmers to embrace modern technologies of farming for high yields and increased profits.
For storage, Musikoyo encouraged farmers to use hematic bags to store their cereals adding that the bags kept at bay weevils for a long time.
“These are modern grain bags, two layered that are able to keep grain off moisture and any form of pests,” he said.
He added, “I also want to encourage tomato farmers to embrace green- house technology which will enable them to plant tomatoes all year around for more profits.”
By Pauline Ikanda

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