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Farmers to benefit from banana production project

Farmers  in  Mumias  West Sub-county  will receive 1,000 tissue culture banana plantlets from Kakamega county government  to  boost the production of the crop in the area.

The  Sub-County Agriculture Officer (SCAO), Joseph  Wasike  said the banana seedlings will be distributed to farmers in the  four  wards of the Sub-County. Each Ward will receive 250 seedlings.

Wasike  told  KNA on Wednesday that the farmers who will receive the seedlings have been identified and that they will  do bulking of the seedlings for onward distribution of the suckers to other farmers in the area.

He  said  that  the County government will meet the cost of the seedlings but the farmer will provide manure and labour for  land preparation and planting.

The  SCAO  noted that the area has a potential of producing bananas on a large scale but currently the area under bananas is  138 hectares that he said can be expanded if the farmers put in more efforts.

He  said  that  other fruits that can do well in the area include pawpaw, passion, pineapples and mangoes and asked farmers  to liaise with the agriculture extension officers in the wards to get technical advice on the production of the fruit   trees.

Wasike  said  that farmers in the area plant local vegetables for domestic consumption and sale in big markets.

He  said  that  production of  kales  was now at 162.5 hectares, while that of cowpeas is at 136 hectares,black African shade  (suja) 17.1 hectares.  Another popular local vegetable spider plant (saga) is at 34 hectares.

Wasike  said  that the production of local vegetables was still low as compared to the demand of the same and pointed  out  that  the deficit is covered by vegetables that are brought into the market from other neighbouring towns.

He  asked  farmers  to source for certified seed for the indigenous vegetables from the agro vets in town to be sure of  quality.

By  Catherine  Nyongesa

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