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Potato Seeds for Kapsowar Farmers to Boost Agricultural Production

Kapsowar Ward, in Marakwet West sub-county, has taken a major step towards improving potato production in the area.

Some 14 farmer groups in the region have recently received certified potato seeds, addressing the long-standing issue of poor-quality seeds that has hindered agricultural progress.

The distribution of these high-quality seeds is expected to cover over 52 acres of land and revitalize the potato farming sector in the region.

Agriculture Chief Executive Committee Member (CECM), Edwin Seroney, emphasized the significance of this initiative, highlighting the need to enhance potato production, which has stagnated due to bad or inadequate seeds.

Through collaboration with the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP), the county government has successfully provided 1,034 bags, each weighing 50 kilograms, of these certified seeds to local farmers.

Encouraging diversification and the exploration of alternative agricultural value chains, Seroney urged the farmers to consider venturing into avocados, pyrethrum, coffee, and tea cultivation saying these crops hold immense potential in the region, promising increased income for farmers and contributing to the overall growth of Kapsowar town.

The CECM estimated that if all the seedlings are planted, the farmers could generate a staggering revenue of Sh23 million. This projection assumes an output of 450,000 bags of 50kg Irish potatoes, reflecting the substantial impact that the availability of quality seeds can have on agricultural yields and subsequent economic growth.

Highlighting the success achieved thus far, the CECM pointed out that Kapsowar Ward has already profited from Sh59 million from various value chains facilitated by the KCSAP.

These include the indigenous chicken and Irish potato value chains, among others. This substantial profit demonstrates the efficacy of strategic investments in the agricultural sector and the potential for further growth and development.

The CECM also underscored the importance of environmental conservation and sustainable farming practices. In this regard, he encouraged farmers to plant trees, which generate income and contribute to soil conservation and ecological balance.

Salina Bowen, an agriculture extension officer, shared plans to provide hands-on support to farmers across the ward. This initiative involves conducting educational sessions and providing guidance on the proper planting and management of potato seedlings.

Bowen urged farmers to refrain from consuming the seedlings, emphasizing that their certification signifies their value for cultivation and eating them would result in financial losses and undermine the desired outcomes of increased agricultural productivity.

One of the beneficiaries, Nelly Kiprop, a farmer from Kapsowar, expressed her gratitude for the distribution of the certified seedlings. She acknowledged the significant positive impact these seeds would have on improving their lives and livelihoods.

Kiprop’s sentiment resonated with other farmers who shared her enthusiasm for the prospects of increased productivity and financial stability.

With the introduction of certified potato seeds in Kapsowar Ward, local farmers are set to witness a transformative change in their agricultural practices.

The partnership between the county government and the KCSAP has created a fertile ground for innovation, diversification, and sustainable growth. As the farmers eagerly plant the new seedlings, hopes are high for a prosperous future and a thriving agricultural sector in Kapsowar.

By Rennish Okong’o

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