The government targets to register at least 100,000 farmers in Laikipia County, an exercise that is set to establish a credible national database of all the farmers and assist in provision of farm inputs.
Laikipia East Deputy County Commissioner Patrick Muli speaking to the media in Nanyuki on Friday during training exercise of local administrators on how they will conduct farmers’ registration said it is a government effort to reduce cost of food production and increase profitability through provision of fertilizers.
“I urge farmers to come out for registration so that they can get cheap fertilizers of Sh3500, before it retailed at Sh6500. If you don’t, you will not get fertilizer,” said Muli.
He added that registration training exercise that has kicked off countrywide will see local administrators record farmers’ details for a period of one week until January 14, 2022.
“We are here to train the chiefs and assistant chiefs on how to register our farmers as per the President’s directive. For now, we are targeting crop farmers who will record their details for instance where they are, what they plant and size of land,” said Muli.
The DCC said farmers at the time of registration will be required to provide official names as per National Identification card, mobile phone number, household size, total farm size and total crop area. He warned against giving false and misleading information.
The records will be filled using Open Data Kit (ODK), a digitized form using preconfigured android tablets and relay the information to a central server for aggregation in real-time.
ODK is a community driven initiative to produce free and open-source software for collecting, managing, and using data resource constrained environments.
Laikipia county crops officer Ms. Margaret Munyiri said some of the common plants in the region are maize, beans and wheat.
As farmers continue to incur losses due to drought, the crops officer said they issue drought resistant and quick to grow seedlings or link farmers to Kenya Agricultural Research and Livestock Organization.
She encouraged water harvesting and management for irrigation.
By Muturi Mwangi