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Farmers training in digital agriculture to enhance food security

The county government of Nakuru in collaboration with the African Centre for Women, Information and Communication Technology (ACWICT) has launched a three days training for selected farmers and extension officers drawn from 11 sub-counties.

Dr Jane Waititu, the county livestock Production Officer, said the training was aimed at equipping the trainers on the use of ICT in Agriculture under the sustainable climate adapted and digitally enabled agriculture for enhanced food security in the country.

She said technology has the capacity of reaching numerous farmers in real-time besides promoting faster means of solving crisis at the farm level without the farmer having to travel to seek advice from the agricultural officers.

Waititu said if a farmer notices pests on the farm, they simply take a picture and send it to the appropriate experts, and instantly they are advised on how to handle the intruders. She was speaking yesterday during a workshop for the selected farmers at a hotel in Rongai-sub-county.

She noted that the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization has developed a number of mobile Application platforms that farmers were not aware of, and they will use the trainers to sensitize other farmers in the county and other parts of the country.

Also, she said it wasn’t foreseeable, that the country will in the near future have sufficient extension officers to serve all farmers, and the fastest, and most cost-effective means of reaching them was through the adoption of technology.

Apart from that, Waititu said when technology was appropriately used by the farmers it supports them in facilitating access to markets through instantaneous data on market prices, weather forecasts, information on pests, seed varieties and planting techniques.

In addition, she said ICT has the capacity and potential of increasing farm yields since farmers have access to vital information pertaining to sowing, crop protection, and how to improve soil fertility.

The project manager for ACWICT Paul Opiyo, speaking at the workshop said their objective was to train numerous champion farmers to saturate the country with growers who are knowledgeable on how to utilize technology to enhance their farming without making unnecessary travelling from their farms to search for assistance.

By Veronica Bosibori

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