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Kajiado farmers receive agricultural innovative equipment

Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) Phase 2 has given Kajiado farmers several innovative equipment that will help them to add value to their farm products.

The approved innovations are in the cow milk, tomato and beef value chains.

In the cow milk value chain, the Oloitoktok dairy farmers got a 1,000 litres/hour homogenizer and a 1,000 liters/hour pasteurizer which form part of their mini dairy.

The tomato value chain farmers got plant raisers, motorized spray pumps and solar-powered water pumps while the beef farmers benefitted from a grass planter chisel plough and grass mower.

Speaking during the launch of the equipment in Kajiado, Kajiado Deputy Governor Martin Moshisho noted that the innovative equipment is a great relief and will support the food security agenda even in the midst of climate change.

“Courtesy of this programme, we will have mini dairies that will support our women. For the past few years, the Kajiado County economy has been receiving about Sh100 million every month from the dairy sector. Through this we are going to improve production and value addition of the milk,” said Moshisho

The deputy governor noted that due to the perishability of tomatoes, the Kajiado farmers have been undergoing massive losses at the hands of middlemen but thanks to ASDSP, the farmers can now add value to their tomatoes and sell them at better prices.

On her part, Kajiado County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Jackline Koin said that the innovations will help improve resilience and the ability of the farmers to mitigate climate change.

“The chisel plough for example helps conserve water and soil while the grass planter helps in planting grass thus there will be no need to depend on rain to have grass as it has always been,” said Koin

She remarked that the youth and women were the target group for the programme and called upon them to quickly grab the opportunity of mechanizing agricultural ventures.

Philip Patuan, a beneficiary of the programme from Kajiado West is grateful for the support saying that climate change has badly affected them as farmers and the innovations will help them get profits even during times of drought.

“We used to dispose of most of our tomatoes due to their perishability. We are grateful to ASDSP for the training on tomato processing and value addition. Thanks to them we now produce tomato paste and have market linkages for our products unlike before,” said Orine self-help group chairperson, Grace Kamau.

Apart from the approved innovations, ASDSP in Kajiado has also supported the farmers to aggregate into marketing cooperatives and advocacy organizations.

The ASDSP programme is financed by the Sweden government, the national government and the county government of Kajiado to the tune of Sh. 94,286,361 over a period of 5 years.

By Diana Meneto

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