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Coffee farming initiative bearing economic fruits 

Farmers in Uasin Gishu County have started realizing positive economic impact from the County government’s distribution of over 836,000 coffee seedlings in its efforts to encourage diversification to high-value cash crops.

The County Agriculture Chief Officer Elphas Kesio said the County government was committed to supporting farmers and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

Speaking while on a sampling tour of coffee farmers who benefited from the seedlings in Tapsagoi Ward, the CO observed that coffee farming has had a positive impact on the farmers in Turbo sub-county.

He interacted with farmers who expressed their satisfaction with the coffee seedlings they had received and highlighted the economic benefits they had already started to experience.

One of the farmers, Peter Kosgei informed the CO that he received 750 free coffee seedlings that he planted on his farm through the county initiative.

Prior to receiving the seedlings, Peter said he was struggling to make ends meet as a farmer. He primarily relied on maize and dairy farming, but the returns were not sufficient to support his family. Still, with the introduction of coffee farming, he had seen a ray of hope for his family’s future.

He stated that coffee was a high-value cash crop that had the potential to generate a significant income.

Another farmer Sammy Saina also received 600 seedlings through the county programme in 2015 and acquired an additional 5000 coffee seedlings from the proceeds of his first crop saying he intends to get more profit from the additional seedlings.

The farmer said he has also employed several local youths to assist him in his coffee farm.

“Coffee farming has the potential to not only provide employment opportunities for the youth in the community but also contribute to the overall economic growth of Turbo sub-county,” said Saina.

Hosea Sambai, another farmer who was visited by the county team said he received 1200 coffee seedlings through the County Government program while struggling with low yields and poor returns from his traditional maize crop farming.

He acknowledged that coffee farming required patience and dedication, but he is willing to put in the necessary effort to reap the benefits.

Kesio said the county government decided to distribute coffee seedlings to encourage farmers to diversify their crops and move away from relying solely on traditional cereal farming and dairy.

Accompanying the Chief Officer were Deputy Director of Agriculture Ismael Asowa and Coffee Officer Nicholas Maritim, who provided technical support and guidance to the farmers.

Asowa emphasized the commitment of the County government to ensuring the success of the coffee farming initiative.

On his part, Maritim said that the County Government has provided the necessary resources, including seedlings, technical support through extension officers, and training, while the farmers have embraced the opportunity and put in the hard work to ensure their success.

By Kiptanui Cherono

 

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