Migori Director for Veterinary Services Dr. Erick Were has said that biosecurity is still a major challenge that Migori integrated farmers are still facing.
Dr. Were who graced a farmers’ group field day event in Suna East Sub County noted that issues of biosecurity were a major concern because of the transmission of diseases from one species of animals to another.
Dr. Were said that the limited land space has forced a majority of farmers to keep a variety of animals close together which may result in disease transmission from animals to poultry, to humans.
“The bird flu transmission, for example, maybe spread to pigs while at the same time the human flu may be transmitted to the pigs. The accumulation of the two cases of flu in pigs if spread to the humans can be very deadly,” noted Were.
He added that having the poultry house close to other animals like goat’s loafing shed or pig’s hog pen has a potential threat to the exposure of harmful biological agents like viruses and bacteria.
Dr. Were advised the farmers to always seek the services of veterinary extension personnel to assist them in poultry and animal space considerations.
“It is in the best interest to ensure that our farmers are protected from the issues of biosecurity by putting into consideration what should be built where and how as shelters for our animals and poultry,” said Dr. Were.
He emphasised that biosecurity measures were one of the important aspects that the veterinary department has been championing at ward levels to ensure the prevention and spread of harmful organisms both to humans, animals and birds.
Dr. Were also pointed out that the veterinary extension service personnel have been giving out the services on basis of needs and demands. The official acknowledged that the county did not have enough personnel to cover the vast county on daily basis.
He, however challenged the farmers to ask for those services and provide information for assistance instead of sitting and waiting for the services to be delivered for them.
Dr Were also said that farmers’ field day events were a perfect avenue for veterinary services to be availed in a communal manner since having joint events made it easier to reach as many farmers while at the same passing important messages and therefore, easing the pressure on already overstretched veterinary officials.
The official added that both the national and county government were currently working with farmers’ groups not only to provide the extension services but also to give out grants and provide training.
He encouraged individual farmers to form groups so that they could collectively benefit from the training, grants, vaccinations and other extension services offered by the national and county government.
Migori County Director for Livestock Mr. Charles Nyaanga said that they would continue to hold field day events with willing partners to enlighten the farmers’ groups on improved methods of farming and veterinary services.
Nyaanga said that through field demos and training farmer groups could be enlightened through skills to assist them to generate income and improve their living standards.
He explained that the county government, national government and agricultural stakeholders would always support farmers that have organised themselves into productive groups.
Nyaanga noted that innovation was key in smart farming to ensure that farmers benefit from the right training that included feed ratios, crop rotation and breed rearing.
He noted that farmers’ field day events were a noble undertakings that would help to sensitise farmers on various crop and animal husbandry as a sure bet to generate income and embrace produce value chain addition.
By Geoffrey Makokha