The Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP) has supported Kajiado County agricultural extension services with 9 motorcycles, 5 Kenya Agricultural Market Information System (KAMIS) tablets and 5 KAMIS weighing scales to boost their service delivery to
KAMIS is a set of integrated coordinated processes and tools to collect and deliver agricultural and livestock market information and services to guide farmers, traders, processors, government agencies and other key players that may benefit from current market data.
According to KCSAP Director in Kajiado Julius Nyagaka, the five KAMIS tablets would ensure that the major markets of Oloitoktok, Ilbissil, Kajiado, Ngong and Kiserian were linked to the system.
“We have trained 14 market enumerators and 22,500 farmers are digitized and are ready to receive agro weather and market information as weekly data collection is going on in all the prioritized markets,” said Nyagaka. Nyagaka further said that extension officers from Rombo, Entonet, Kimana, Matapato South, Matapato North, Ildamat, Ngong, Magadi and Kiekonyokie wards have received one motorcycle each to help them easily accessing the farmers.
While speaking after flagging off the motorcycles, Kajiado Deputy Governor Martine Moshisho noted that food security is among the Big Four agenda by the President and thus the Kajiado County government is working hard to make it a reality.
He said that the motorbikes would go a long way in helping the extension officers to take services to the needy areas since mobility has been a problem for long as Kajiado County is vast.
On KAMIS, Moshisho noted that information is power and adequate reliable information would enable the farmers to make informed decisions regarding market demand, profitable markets and the appropriate time to plant specific crops.
Kajiado County Chief Executive committee Member for Agriculture Jackline Koin termed the KAMIS tablets as a breakthrough in edging out brokers of agricultural produce who have long exploited farmers.
“Middlemen have for so long been exploiting farmers due to their lack of market information thus once the farmers can access timely and accurate information on market prices and the market activities, they will not be exploited ,” stated Koin
Koin further noted that market data would serve as an early warning of food shortages and in the management of food security reserves especially during drought periods.
Silas Kipngetich who is the Ward Agricultural Extension Officer in Magadi ward was elated after receiving one of the motorbikes noting that he had a great mobility challenge as Magadi ward is vast and has rough terrain thus making access to farmers difficult.
The motorcycles which have been locally assembled by Kibo Africa are a great fit for rough terrains as they could easily be repaired since spare parts were readily available within the local towns.
Kibo Africa Sales Manager Milton Maingi stated that the officers received free training on how to use the motorbikes and would benefit from a 10,000 Kilometers and one year warranty from Kibo Africa.
He further revealed that the company has partnered with local mechanics within the wards that have benefitted from the motorcycles who would repair and service the motorbikes in time so that the officers do not have to waste time in taking the motorcycles for repair in Nairobi.
A market enumerator in Ngong, Leah Kagai notes that the KAMIS tablet would help her in providing the county with information on availability of food commodities and help her advice farmers on crop prices.
By Diana Meneto