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FAO donates tractors to Bungoma to boost delivery of extension services

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has donated two tractors worth sh.14 million to Bungoma County to help improve delivery of extension services.

The tractors, acquired at a cost of Sh 7 million each will be used to till farms at a subsidised fee.

The donation was overseen by Deputy Governor Jenipher Mbatiany, Bungoma County Executive Committee Member (CECM) Monica Fedha, and FAO officials at Matulo in Kimilili.

Mbatiany commended FAO for its efforts in modernizing Bungoma’s agricultural sector and appealed to farmers to form SACCOs to make it easier to work collectively rather than individually.

She said SACCOs will enable them pool resources and also give them ease of access to government services.

The CECM for agriculture, fisheries, livestock and cooperatives development indicated that Bungoma is currently facing food insecurity having harvested less than two million bags of maize last harvest season against a projected harvest of 3.7 million bags.

She lauded FAO for taking steps to ensure that Bungoma has enough food to sustain the county and also for supporting the County’s agriculture projects including global action for controlling armyworms, being the regional centre for controlling armyworms.

On the flipside, Ms Monica pointed out the efforts of the county government in beefing up food security in the county, by rolling out an initiative tagged farm input programme in 2013 that gives out 50 kilograms of planting and top dresser and 10 kilograms of seeds.

“This year, 21,900 farmers benefited from the programme which is an efficient way to curb food insecurity as the beneficiaries will harvest a total of 400,000 bags, thereby reducing the food insecurity gap.” she stated.

She further urged farmers to diversify farming and embrace the initiative by Governor Kenneth Lusaka termed ‘operation fuga kuku’ to rear chicken and also  take advantage of Chwele slaughter house as a market for the chicken with an aim to eradicate poverty and hunger in Bungoma.

Ambassador Carla Mucavi, FAO representative in Kenya affirmed that the aim of FAO working in the western region is to ensure that there is zero hunger.

By Rebecca Muchai

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