Farmers in Kilifi County have been urged to embrace profit-making farming practices to improve their life standards.
Programme Coordinator for Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme Kilifi County, Caroline Farra said farmers should not only farm to get food for subsistence but also aim to get money.
“We are training the farmers to have entrepreneurial skills on priority value chain actors where they need to have business plans so that a farmer can know what he/she will get after putting their money on the farm,” she said during a special meeting with journalists.
Farra disclosed that most farmers in Kilifi are used to planting maize in every season but they do not do mathematics on the cost they incur and the profit of what they harvest therefore making losses unknowingly.
“When it rains now, they will first go for maize but when you ask them the cost they incurred in farming, one will say 20,000 but the worth of the maize they have harvested is 9,000 which is a big loss. So, we train and encourage them to go for produce that will bring in a lot of income instead,” she said.
Due to hot and frequent dry weather conditions in Kilifi, she encouraged farmers to plant drought tolerant plants such as cassava and chili as well as embrace indigenous chickens farming so as to maximise profits in their farms.
“Maize depends so much on rains but cassava will survive even when rains stop. When you plant cassava in one acre farm a farmer can get a profit of up to 160,000,” she said
According to her records, more than 10,000 farmers from Kaloleni, Rabai and Kilifi South have embraced farming of cassava, chili and indigenous chickens and their life standards have greatly improved.
Joint efforts among organisations, County Government, National Government and foreign governments have been put in place to support the agriculture sector in Kilifi with aim of supporting transformation of crops, livestock and fishery production into commercially oriented enterprises that ensure sustainable food and nutrition security.
By Jackson Msanzu