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ASK prepares the Nakuru branch show

The Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) has already commenced preparations for the Nakuru Branch Show, which will be held mid-next month.

Today, County Agricultural Chief Officer Kibet Kurgat opened a farmers and extension officers training organized by the local ASK branch.

The officer encouraged the farmers to adopt the new technologies demonstrated at the showground to help achieve food security through increased production in the county.

Some of the topics covered in the training include climate-smart agriculture, avocado and pyrethrum planting, harvesting, grading, storage, marketing of crops, pasture, and disease management in animals.

He said Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is an approach to assist the people who manage agricultural systems to respond effectively to inevitable changes such as the unpredictability of rainfall and the prolonged droughts that were not common in the past.

Kurgat noted that the CSA method pursues the triple objective of sustainability: increasing productivity and incomes for farmers, plus reducing gas emissions where possible.

Additionally, he said the county was doing everything possible to assist the farmers in reducing the high post-harvest losses, which still stand at 30 percent despite the biting food shortage in the country.

Also, he stated that, despite the numerous ASK shows that farmers have attended, there is a notable disparity between the demonstrations by the agricultural officers and the farmers’ farms.

However, the farmers defended themselves and claimed that the greatest challenges were not a lack of knowledge, but water scarcity and the high cost of inputs.

The ASK shows, which are held annually, are valued agricultural fairs that bring all the stakeholders of the sector together and exhibit recent developments and new technology to the farmers.

The Ask is one of the oldest organizations in the county; it was founded by colonial farmers in 1901, and the first Nakuru show was held in the 1920s.

By Veronica Bosibori

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