Migori County has established two additional divisions in the agricultural sector to help boost its food security agenda.
Speaking during a meet-farmer tour to celebrate World Food Day in Nyatike Sub County, Migori Deputy Governor Dr. Joseph Mahiri said that the Blue Economy and Lake Region divisions have been established to help secure sufficient food production in the county.
Mahiri noted that the additional divisions would help address the issues of irrigation in Nyatike Sub County, add fish value through fish caging and provide a value chain to other county agricultural products.
Migori County has become a key player in food production among the lake region belt through its various crop production that includes cassava, rice and fish in Nyatike, sweet potato and maize in Kuria and Nyota beans introduced by World Food Programme (WFP) last year.
Mahiri explained that the Blue economy and Lake Region divisions would also provide marketing strategies to help benefit the local farmers through income generation.
“We want our county to be food secure and safe rather than being a hungry county with lots of agricultural potential. The division created will assist our local farmers, especially in semi-arid area of Nyatike to benefit through irrigation and boost our county food production,” Mahiri said.
The official also promised the partners that have been engaging in agricultural activities with both the county and local residents of workable policies to provide an enabling environment for their operations.
Last year, the county in partnership with the WFP introduced Nyota, a bean variety that is drought resistant to Nyatike and other sub counties in Migori to boost crop production. The county also launched one of its kind Getonganya sweet potato factory in the region to add a value chain to the sweet production processes.
Rongo University Researcher Dr. Gor Peter said that the best way to realise food security is to ensure the subsidized fertilizer reaches the genuine farmer.
He noted that once the production cost is lowered to the minimum, the farmer would enjoy profits and morale to keep generating producing.
The Rongo Researcher also called upon the relevant authorities in the subsidized fertilizer sector to ensure that the collection centres are devolved to help the farmer access the government subsidized fertilizer.
“Nyatike residents travel almost 40 kilometres to Migori town to collect the fertilizer which eats their income through transportation. I wish we had a depot here in the sub county to help our farmers access the same at a lower transport cost,” claimed Gor.
Dr. Gor acknowledged that Rongo University was a Certified Centre of Excel in Agricultural Food Security and through a partnership with the county government, the locals stood to benefit from well researched and improved seed production.
On his part, Migori County Executive Committee Member (CEC) for Agricultural, Livestock and Fisheries Mr. Fredrick Kayaga pointed out that the county, through the recently introduced divisions of the Blue economy and Lake Region, would utilise the God given waters of Lake Victoria for irrigation purposes in the county.
He called on the partners and donors to help the county realise its food security dream by making good use of Lake Victoria waters through irrigation in Nyatike Sub County.
Kayaga emphasised that by increasing the acreage of rice production in Nyatike, the county would be able to not only feed itself but also export to other lake region belt counties.
By Geoffrey Makokha