Uasin Gishu farmers have been advised to embrace diversification to create more wealth instead of depending on the traditional maize and wheat farming.
Speaking in Kong’asis in Ainabkoi Sub- County, Uasin Gishu Governor, Jackson Mandago, also challenged the farmers to take farming seriously in order to reclaim the county’s lost wealth.
Mandago said the County Government is running a campaign that seeks to ensure farmers not only plant maize and wheat but also venture into high-value crops such as macadamia, avocado, tissue culture banana, and coffee.
“There is sufficient market for these high-value products and as a county we are focusing on advising our farmers not to depend on one cash crop as a source of income. We want to look at ways to improve our people’s livelihoods and we know these crops can help us achieve this,” Mandago said.
He said if farmers embrace the diversification agenda, within the next three years, families will have improved livelihoods due to better income.
“We envisage that in three years, every family should start earning millions that will enable them to sustain themselves in health, education among other needs,” he said.
The Governor added that the County is also working towards ensuring every Sub- County has one cooperative society that will play a key role in moderating the sale of cash crops once they are ready.
Mandago noted that with one cooperative per county challenges that coffee farmers in Central Kenya are currently facing because of middlemen and brokers will be well addressed.
Deputy Governor, Daniel Chemno, noted that profits from the advocated crops were much better compared to those from traditional cereal farming.
“Our living standards will be improved. We will no longer be calling for harambees and our children will go to school without much trouble. We will be economically empowered,” stressed Chemno.
By Kiptanui Cherono