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Farmers encouraged to embrace agroecology for economic growth

Farmers in Migori have been advised to embrace modern and smart technologies to realize economic growth and better income.

Migori County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Agriculture, Lucas Mosenda, said that by embracing agroecology, the county will be able to increase food security and production.

The agroecology aspect will lead to better and healthier yields while at the same time conserving the environment through minimized soil, water, and air pollution caused by heavy chemical usage.

Migori County has been introducing new crops like iron beans and sorghum in order to address food security. The introduction of Nyota iron beans as an alternative to tobacco farming has greatly reduced the environmental effects, like chemical pollution, that are heavily produced in tobacco farms.

In 2021, the County managed to produce 200 tonnes of beans from 370 acres managed by 330 former tobacco farmers and generate Sh13 million.

Mosenda said that the County has been encouraging farmers to adopt new modern agricultural practices to help solve environmental challenges like soil, water, and air pollution. Agro-ecology incorporates the integration of plants, animals, and humans within one agricultural unit to help conserve and preserve the environment.

“If we embrace agroecology, we will be able to introduce smart farming that will lead to agribusiness in order to solve food insecurity and achieve Vision 2030 goals of safer, more nutritious, and healthier food production,” noted Mosenda.

Apart from iron beans, the county has also introduced sorghum farming in the semi-arid sub-county of Nyatike.

“The effects of climate change are much worse in semi-arid and arid areas, and that is why we started smart farming in the form of sorghum production in Nyatike,” said Mosenda.

He added that the introduction of sorghum and bean farming as an alternative to tobacco farming will help to solve food security, nutrition, and production problems in the county.

In 2022, the Syngenta Foundation partnered with USAID and East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) to fund and buy sorghum from former tobacco farmers.

The project, dubbed Global Labour Inclusive Futures, funded by USAID, targeted 9,000 farmers from 45 hub centers across the former predominant tobacco sub-counties of Kuria East and West and Nyatike.

The introduction of biodigesters in the county has also added to the new technologies that farmer groups and cooperatives have been embracing.

The official disclosed that the bio-digester has helped farmers produce organic fertilizers and increase food safety in the county. He emphasized that the usage of inorganic fertilizers such as triple superphosphate and ammonium phosphates has negatively impacted the soil’s PH, especially on tobacco-growing farms.

By Michael Obuoyo and Geoffrey Makokha

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