Farmers in arid Kitui have been urged to embrace modern agricultural methods to boost crop production besides cushioning them from the harsh climatic conditions.
Speaking during a farmers’ field day at Kitui Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) on Sunday, the Principal David Mutiku said hundreds of farmers had received lessons on best farming practices terming agriculture the main economic activity in Kitui County.
“We have brought on board key agricultural experts to educate our farmers on the latest farming technologies specifically to enable them maximize on crop production despite Kitui’s harsh climatic conditions,” explained Mutiku.
He said the seminar was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Irrigation to enlighten local farmers on the use of modern and cost effective farming methods in order to mitigate perennial food insecurity in Kitui.
“We want our farmers to appreciate the importance of using certified seeds and farm chemicals besides educating them on affordable irrigation techniques so as to utilize the numerous seasonal rivers found across the county,” he added.
The farmers also toured demonstration farms having an assortment of thriving crops ranging from maize, sorghum and vegetables including eggplants, tomatoes, cabbages, onions and kales as part of the two-day training.
“We have done demo farms to prove to farmers that these crops can do well under Kitui’s climatic conditions provided that they strictly adhere to the modern farming techniques we have instructed them on,” affirmed Mutiku.
The Principal further called on the farmers to change the perception that use of farm chemicals compromises soil fertility arguing that scientific research had proved otherwise.
“It’s impossible to get optimal crop yield without chemicals because crops face destruction by pests or diseases. The soil’s fertility must also be boosted from time to time and that’s where fertilizers come in,” he said.
Farmers who attended the field day pledged to put all they learnt into practice to avert hunger cases, which are prevalent year in year out in the devolved unit.
By Yobesh Onwong’a