Potato farmers in Meru County are reaping big, following an agricultural diversification project that was introduced by Meru county government through the Korea Program for International Cooperation in Agricultural Technology (KOPIA).
The project that seeks to improve both agriculture and poultry farming production amongst rural farmers has seen an increase in potato production, from eight tonnes per acre to sixteen.
While distributing potato seeds and seedlings from the agriculture model villages to farmers from Kitherine and Murungurune in central Imenti and South Imenti Constituencies, the chief officer for livestock production in Meru county Dr. David Mugambi said the devolved unit was keen on sustainability by ensuring farmers get from the basic seeds potatoes for consumption, re- planting and sale.
“The county government is committed to ensure our people have enough to eat and at the same time have money in their pockets, that is why we encourage each and every farmer to take advantage of the improved and certified seeds to boost their productions and earning,” said Dr. Mugambi.
According to the officer, the program has successfully run a mass distribution program, where 23.2 tonnes of potato seeds and seedlings were distributed to various farmers across Meru County.
He said the use of certified potato seeds by farmers has come with a lot of benefits stressing: “Farmers can now pay for their children’s school fees, through farming because the demand for potatoes continues to increase across the country, and this only means more money to the farmer.”
The coordinator for KOPIA project in Meru county Mr. Julius Gitonga called on the farmers to embrace rooted apical cutting method of potato farming to boost their production.
Gitonga said KOPIA targeted over 10,000 farmers in Meru County, adding that a majority of the targeted farmers were already undergoing training on that particular method of farming.
By Erick Otieno