Meru National Agricultural Show is expected to resume this year after a break of about two years following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year’s show will be held from June 1-4 and is expected to attract more attendants as well as exhibitors compared to the previous years, considering that invitations have been extended to Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Isiolo and Laikipia Counties.
This year’s theme will be ‘promoting innovation and technology in agriculture and trade’.
Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Chief Executive Batram Muthoka told journalists that they would be running nine shows this year as opposed to the usual 16 following the stringent resumption protocols set by the Ministry of Health in regards to Covid-19.
“We successfully held the Eldoret show recently and Meru will be the second,” said Muthoka.
He said in 2019, when the last show was held in Meru, 250,000 people attended and this number is expected to rise to between 300,000-350,000 this year based on the intensive marketing strategy being applied.
“We have just invited the neighbouring counties to this show and therefore we anticipate that quite a number of people will attend the show,” said Muthoka.
He said the ASK was also looking at ways of fully utilising their assets at the show grounds to ensure they were not only active during the show dates.
“We are running through development of an integrated land use master plan and we have already completed the one in Jamhuri Park and a few other shows,” he said.
“In the next phase, we are coming to Meru so that we have that master plan that will pick up other investment plans so that this becomes a main city of Meru and draw many businesses into the ground,” said Mr Muthoka.
“Simply, we are saying that other than the shows that we run, we will have many other investments here in Meru showground,” he added.
The showground’s Chairman Mr. Stanley Mukaria said they were expecting better shows this year and encouraged more people to attend.
“As you know, if a product gets out of the market for some time, it comes back with some improvements and this is what should be expected of our shows,” he said adding that they were also expecting to have more than 150 exhibitors as opposed to 2019 where they had only 28.
He said so far, they were happy with the ongoing preparations and the positive feedback they were receiving from the stakeholders.
Some of the planned activities during the show include farmers’ training, demonstration plots, networking with exhibitors, display of various exhibits and products, purchase of certified seeds and farm inputs among others.
By Dickson Mwiti