Bungoma County Government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Apollo Agriculture, a company that is helping farmers access high-quality farm inputs at low rates aimed at increasing their profits.
Through this understanding, farmers will also be able to access credit, customised advice and use advanced technologies for their farming to double their output and shift from subsistence to commercial farming.
Addressing the press at a Bungoma hotel, County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Agriculture Mathews Makanda pointed out that the working partnership will give Bungoma farmers chances to reap big in their small scale farming.
He said Apollo’s platform offers a one-stop-shop solution to help small-scale farmers to improve crop and livestock outputs.
The chief executive said that hard economic times and climate change has negatively impacted the agriculture sector.
“The signing of this MOU with Apollo agriculture will help farmers get access to affordable farm inputs that will drastically increase farm produce,” he said.
Makanda said Apollo Agriculture provides farm input packages at cheaper prices explaining that a farmer is expected to pay 10 per cent and the rest of the money paid in installments.
He asked farmers to register in huge numbers, while assuring them of the county’s support.
Makanda warned famers against joining agriculture schemes that have no working agreement with Bungoma County government lest they fall into the hands of conmen who promise heaven and end up offering them nothing.
“This is a warning to farmers, don’t be lured by agricultural organisations whose products are questionable, let’s work with organisations that we know and that have been in existence for long,” he said.
He said that climate change has negatively impacted agriculture this year, adding that the county has a climate change unit that is moving around the nine constituencies to sensitise farmers about climate change.
The National Extension Manager Apollo Agriculture, Peter Murithii, told the press that the organisation’s objective is to ensure that there is food security in the country.
Murithii noted that Apollo Agriculture started working in Bungoma in 2021 and has already registered 9,000 farmers but it targets to recruit at least 23,000 farmers.
He said that apart from giving farmers farm inputs the organisation is working with all agricultural officers in the entire county to offer extension services. Apollo’s products include insurance to protect the borrower.
The Chief Officer, Department of Agriculture Onesmus Makhanu said that the county’s’ maize production projection this year stands at five million bags.
By Roseland Lumwamu