The Kiambu County Agricultural Officer (CAO) on Tuesday advised farmers in the region to plant drought resistant crops in order to stand a better chance of reclaiming the agricultural sector.
Speaking to KNA, Ms. Jane Muigai stated that with an adverse change in weather conditions in the region, there was need for the farmers to revisit their farming patterns and choose crops that best suit the current weather conditions.
The CAO said for the sake of being self reliant throughout the year and also for economic interest, they could also export their agricultural produce to neighbouring counties for income.
Ms. Muigai noted that not all crops that were being grown in Kiambu were tolerant to all weather conditions hence called upon farmers to be observant when choosing the type of crops to be planted in certain seasons.
While giving examples of crops that suit the current weather conditions, the officer stated that it would be better if farmers planted bananas, avocados and coffee since such crops were all-weather.
Ms. Muigai noted that bananas, for instance, stored water hence it was easier for them to survive and yield food that can be consumed by locals without necessarily being forced to buy from neighbouring counties.
She continued to state that currently, the county was not only supporting farmers by providing them with better seeds but also empowering them on how to use them.
“Knowledge is just as important as agricultural inputs like seeds and fertiliser, hence there is need to educate our farmers upon issuing them with farm inputs,” she said.
She also noted that the county agricultural sector had been moving across the County educating farmers as well as distributing farm inputs.
“Just early this month, we held an open workshop at Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology where farmers showcased their farm inputs and learnt various skills from each other. Also avocado seedlings were given to farmers,” she said.
Ms Muigai further noted that in cases where farmers were in a better position of acquiring a long lasting water supply source, they had the opportunity of planting whichever crops they wanted provided such crops do not wilt at a certain time of the year.
The officer is optimistic that, if farmers made correct choices of crops that best suit a given weather condition, then the idea of food security as prioritised by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta in his Big Four Agenda will be successful.
By Afwande Pauline/ Lydia Shiloya