Farmers in Kisii County have been urged to embrace technology-driven solutions in order to increase their agricultural production.
Speaking during an Agritech Exhibition held at Kisii University on the outskirts of Kisii town, Kisii University Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Student Academic Affairs, Prof Evans Basweti, said the institution had organized the exhibition to enable farmers learn about different technologies in agriculture so as to improve their yield.
“We have farmers who have come from different areas in this region and exhibitors which is quite encouraging, and I am sure from here, they are going to use whatever technologies they have learnt here to improve agricultural production,” he said.
Since agriculture is a devolved function, Basweti encouraged county governments to support research and allocate more funds for agricultural development since agriculture contributes to about 25 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Chairman of the Agritech Exhibition, Dr Joseph Lang’at, thanked the farmers and stakeholders who had come to showcase their new technologies in the field of agriculture at the event.
Lang’at noted the biggest challenge faced by farmers with regard to the use of technology is the transfer of knowledge from researchers to the farmers.
“As academia, we do a lot of research and have suggested a lot of technologies that can be used by farmers to improve on the yield and quality of the materials that they will be planting. The problem is now the transfer of this technology using extension staff,” he said.
The Chairman urged the county governments to adopt suggestions and publications from researchers in institutions of higher learning and transfer the same to the farmers in the field for them to benefit.
One of the exhibitors, South-Rift Unga Farm Care Technical Representative, Aggrey Abuga, said they had developed an application (Fugo Smart) to reach more farmers throughout the country and support them with information regarding dairy, poultry, piggery, fish, horse and rabbit farming.
Abuga said the application enables farmers to communicate with representatives in their regions at any given time and get assistance regarding their farming needs.
He pointed out that they had registered about 2000 dairy farmers and another 2000 poultry farmers from Kisii and Nyamira counties in the app and encouraged farmers to install the application on their phones to get smart farming solutions.
By Mercy Osongo