Home > Agriculture > Farmers Urged to Invest in Soya Bean Production

Farmers Urged to Invest in Soya Bean Production

Farmers in Migori County have been advised to plant soya bean as a cash crop to meet the increasing demand for the crop in the country.

Speaking to KNA at the Agricultural Training Centre on the outskirts of Kisii town, Kisii County, Isaac Odero, a soya bean farmer from Migori, noted there are several groups within the county doing aggregation of soya bean due to a high demand for the crop in the market, but less production.

“As soya bean farmers, we aggregate produce from the farmers together so that they can have a collective bargaining power and avoid exploitation by middlemen in the market,” said Odero.

He pointed out that despite the market for soya bean being robust, the production of the crop in Migori cannot meet the demand for the market now hence the need for farmers to produce more soya bean that will meet the demand of residents in Migori and neighbouring counties such as Kisii and Homa bay.

Odero noted that soya is one of the legumes that is more nutritious and can be consumed by human beings, livestock and poultry.

“It is also possible to process the crop and produce pure soya beverage, oil and animal feeds as well as manure production for organic farms. Soya is also a killer of trigger weeds which can be cleared from farms, therefore, an advantage for farmers,” he added.

Fredrick Odero, another soya farmer, noted that Kenya had been importing most of their soya beans from Zambia, Uganda and Malawi.

“When these countries banned their exportation of soya beans, the cost of animal feeds in Kenya almost doubled. Therefore, we want our farmers to plant soya bean as a cash crop, that’s why we have come up with an initiative where we will provide farmers with seeds, fertilisers and build their capacity,” Odero said.

The soya bean farmers spoke after completing a three-weeks training by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) aimed at technical staff and farmers on the practical issues in poultry and soya beans farming and capacity building.

Uriri Sub County Agricultural Officer, Dickson Otieno, noted the Farmers’ Field Business School (FFBS) model of training focused on building the capacity of various value chain actors such as soya bean farmers in order to achieve food security in the region.

“Soya can help us troubleshoot some of the problems we encounter in the feed industry. Feeds are very expensive and farmers can be empowered to produce their own feeds so that they reduce the cost of production and make poultry and dairy products easily available,” said Otieno.

He noted that the farmers had partnered with other programmes in the sector like Agriculture Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) that provides equipment to farmers to process feeds.

Otieno said they will leverage on such support and encourage the farmers to be better producers by getting proper extension support in terms of training.

He pointed out that they will conduct forty soya bean FFBS training and expect the training to spill over to communities so that farmers can embrace a similar approach of doing things.

“We also expect the County Government to have buy-ins and allocate funding for Farmers’ Field Business Schools in the near future,” added Otieno.

By Mercy Osongo

Leave a Reply