The government, under the Grain Drying for Sustainable Post-Harvest Management Project, has officially flagged off a mobile grain drying machine to be used by maize farmers in Kipkelion East Sub-County, Kericho County.
The State Department of Crop Development Principal Secretary, Dr. Paul Rono, who presided over the function, said the mobile dryers, which are capable of drying up to seven tonnes of grain per hour, will be of great benefit to farmers in the area.
The PS said that the drying machine will also come in handy in reducing post-harvest losses, especially now as the heavy rains continue to pound the country, ensuring that the dryers have the ability to preserve the maize quality for consumption.
During the function at the Kedowa National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depot, Dr. Rono commended farmers in the country for capitalising on the government fertiliser subsidies in farming this year and utilising the long and short rains, saying the country now boasts of a bumper harvest.
“We expect to be reaping over 600,000 bags of maize in Kericho County and over 60 million bags of maize countrywide every year due to the utilisation of government fertiliser,” added Dr. Rono.
Dr. Rono urged farmers to ensure they are registered on e-vouchers so they can access subsidies and lower prices of inputs, assuring them of a bright future as the government plans to introduce cooperatives for them to pool financial and technical resources for their benefit.
“We also want plenty of extension service officers at the grassroot level for our farmers to be trained and advised on best agricultural practices,” he said.
Other leaders present at the function were Kericho County Deputy Governor Eng Fred Kirui, Kipkelion East Legislator Joseph Cherorot, and Kedowa Kimugul Ward MCA Richard Langat, among others.
By Kibe Mburu