Friday, September 29, 2023
Home > Counties > Siaya County Government Keen on Assuring Food Security

Siaya County Government Keen on Assuring Food Security

The Siaya County Government promised residents that food shortages will no longer be an issue due to the strategic plans that have been put in place by the governor to ensure food security.

Speaking on Thursday at Siaya County headquarters, Agriculture CECM Dr. Sylvester Kokoth said that for a long time, Siaya County has been getting agricultural products from other regions like Laikipia, Meru and countries like Uganda through the Busia border.

He said that not a single farmer produces eggs within Siaya and added that most of the eggs consumed in the county are from Uganda. Most of the vegetables used in Siaya are from Taita Taveta.

Kokoth said that the county government of Siaya and stakeholders in agriculture came to a conclusion that no more agricultural products will be purchased from other counties or countries. They pledged to implement measures that will ensure that the objective of self-sufficiency is met.

“Siaya County has very fertile soils and permanent water bodies like, River Nzoia, Yala Swamp, Lake Victoria and Kanyaboli, these water bodies can help in irrigation agriculture that can feed the whole population of Siaya, and her neighbors,” said Kokoth.

To ensure the dream is achieved, last week the government of Siaya launched a program dubbed Grants and Subsidies for Agricultural Inputs and commenced the distribution of 158 tons of subsidized fertilizer to over 200,000 registered farmers. These fertilizers cost Sh40 million.

Farmers around Siaya were also provided with subsidized seeds, which have been certified suitable in relation to their geographical requirements.

“Previously, we had ten tractors, but fortunately the governor added seven of them, and they have started serving the residents under a program dubbed Tractor Hire Services, where Sh2000, will be charged a famer per acre, in case one would require the services of these tractors,” said Kokoth. Anyone who will go beyond one acre, will be awarded with free subsidized manure and free seeds.

“About Sh80 million was set aside for the supplementary budget to help in purchasing more manure and improved seeds, which will come in five varieties, from Kenya National Trading Corporation, and these manure and seeds will not be now given for free, but will be given out at a subsidized price, that would ensure that all farmers benefit,” Kokoth added.

To ensure mass production of agricultural commodities, all the people who will be using the tractors will always get registered, to track them, and know the amount of cereal they produce; this will also allow them to get subsidized seeds and fertilizers for free to boost their agricultural output.

The County government of Siaya looks forward to cultivating about 3,000 acres of land in this season under the Tractor Hire Services program and expects to get 284,000 bags of maize at an average yield of 18 bags of maize from each acre of maize.

Siaya County according to data by the agricultural department requires 64,818 bags monthly, estimating that 284,000 expected bags of maize will sustain Siaya for a period of 54 months, which is 4.5 years.

“These strategies will ensure that all the funds that were being used to import serials from Rift Valley will now be diverted to support farmers,” said Kokoth.

Farmers lauded the County Government of Siaya for the goodies. Michael Odede from Bondo urged the governor to continue supporting agriculture, saying that this will ensure that no family within Siaya will go without food.

Millicent Atieno from Siaya town amplified the issue of food security by encouraging more farmers to subscribe under this program to make Siaya self-reliant.

By Calvin Otieno and Mourice Onyango

Leave a Reply