The County government of Homa Bay through Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) yesterday gave farmers equipment worth Sh 4.7 million to boost food production.
These included 40 cooler boxes for storage of poultry vaccines, three sorghum threshers intended to benefit 1000 farmers and 17 pond liners for farmers dealing in pond fishing.
The Chief Officer Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Development Homa Bay County, Samuel Odoyo said the move aims at ensuring food security and income generation by the farmers.
“These innovations are going to protect the farmers from post-harvest losses and strengthen the value chain of sorghum, fish and chicken in the market. The threshers have been given to three cooperatives dealing in sorghum value chain, the cooler boxers will aid in storage of chicken vaccine and will be given to each of the 40 wards in the county. The pond liners are for the 17 fish farmers,” he said.
Odoyo who spoke in Homa Bay Town encouraged fish farmers to use the pond liners effectively in order to maximize frequent fish production in the county.
“The pond liners are part of the innovation to help the farmers show the community that if fishing is done using pond liners then there will be high productivity as well as early maturity of fish,” he noted.
“There is high demand for fish in the market and we are not being left behind. We have to ensure that we move on the supply side to ensure the demand is reached. This goes a long way in enhancing not only food but income security of the farmers,” Odoyo added.
Lazarus Owade, West Karachuonyo Kogwanga Farmers Self Help Group representative which received a thresher that will ease post production of sorghum for its 78 farmers, said the thresher will help them to combat loses they have been incurring during the post-harvest and storage periods.
“ASDSP has provided us with sorghum thresher that will ease harvesting, tarpaulin and hermetic bags that will reduce storage losses that we have been facing,” Owande said.
He added that the thresher will also bar harvesters from skin diseases arising from sorghum harvesting. He expressed his gratitude saying that it was a big boost to them as farmers.
The farmers were urged to unite and identify cooperatives that will help them in marketing their products and secure income.
By Okeyo Lucy and Sitna Omar