Agriculturists in Mwingi region of Kitui County are optimistic of high crop yields in the region as heavy rains continue pounding the area.
During the last two rain seasons farmers in the region have failed to harvest their crops due to shortage of rains as their crops dried up before they matured.
Pauline Kyavoa, a crops production officer at Mwingi Central Sub County, while speaking to Kenya News Agency on Tuesday at her office in Mwingi town said that some crops which require little rains have already matured.
“We partnered with International Crops Research Institute for Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISSAT), to supply seeds to farmers which included Sorghum, Millet, green grams and cow peas. The farmers received the seeds at the right time,” she said, adding that the seeds are among drought resistant crops which require little rains to mature.
Apart from supplying the famers with seeds, Kyavoa underscored many other programmes and trainings on best farming technologies and methods to the local farmers.
“We are assisting farmers in the region with funds through Kenya Cereal Enhancement programme that is assisting the farmers with soft loans. The beneficiary repays only 10 percent of yields per acre in the first year, 40 percent in the second and 70 percent in final year respectively,” the crops officers said.
Kyavoa noted that through the programme farmers who are financially unstable are able to start farming at favourable cost until they can fully support themselves after the third year.
She noted that the programme has attracted many farmers especially those who have land but could not engage in agribusiness farming due to financial constraints.
Kyavoa further said that the financially stable farmers are assisted through advice on how to produce high yields and by linking them to market so that they can sell their products with ease.
The county government has provided the farmers with tractors which plough at a subsidised rate of Sh. 1000 per acre which is a fair price.
She also said that the crops office engages on constant effective communication with the farmers through modern mobile phone technology, as well through chief’s barazas, farm visits and on office Information desks to assist the farmers with information on rains therefore enabling them to prepare their farms and plant on time.
By Joseph Chege