The Mechanization of agricultural activities in Kisumu is looking up after the county government acquired four additional tractors in support of the local farmers.
The Kisumu Governor, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o noted that the new machines procured at a cost of Sh.13 million now brings to 32 the county’s total fleet of tractors to boost small holder farming in the county.
“We intend to support our small holder farmers through mechanization and with adequate inputs so that they can increase their production and shore-up earnings,” Nyong’o said when he flagged off the new fleet outside the county offices today.
He said the county’s fleet would serve the local farmers at a subsidized cost of Sh.2,500 down from Sh.4,500 market rate per acre of tilling thus enable the entrepreneurs to cut production cost and expand profit margins.
Nyong’o at the same time, urged the residents to grow the pest resilient Bt-cotton to enable them enjoy from its lucrative returns that he said ranged to the tune of a quarter million per acre of land.
The governor further assured the farmers that his administration had instituted a proper fleet management system to guard against equipment misuse and ensure residents were given effective service.
He therefore cautioned the county employees to protect from abuse and make prudent use of the public resources entrusted in their care even as he pledged that the county would procure an additional four tractors every financial year for the remainder of his tenure.
This is after the county boss expressed concern over the status of 25 of the older fleet procured by the previous regime with the assistance of the Japanese government, but whose conditions he claims have rapidly deteriorated due to misuse.
He said despite his administration proceeding to offset the remaining debt from the Sh.62 million that was part of the Japanese conditional grant, the tractors remained idle for long and were vandalized and later misused for personal gain by those put in charge.
The governor vowed to ensure that county’s road maintenance team worked closely with the mechanization unit to ensure that the fleet was properly maintained and put only to the intended use.
By Milton Onyango/Chebichii Mildred