Small scale tea farmers in Ogembo tea zone have been encouraged to practice diversified farming by incorporating fruit trees and food crops in a single field, livestock, or aquaculture for them to achieve financial stability and food security.
Speaking to the farmers during field tour at the zone, Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) national chairperson David Ichoho assured the farmers of the board’s (KTDA) support through providing training on modern farming methods, providing quality seedlings to the farmers, providing subsidized fertilizer and continuously seeking enough market for the tea with satisfactory pricing for the famer to benefit.
Ichoho added that KTDA is projecting to ensure that in the next one-year small scale tea growers are practicing diversified farming to enable them to facilitate themselves financially instead of depending on tea dividends alone as their sole source of income.
Some of the fruits encouraged to grow include Hass avocados. Farmers can also practice poultry farming, dairy farming or fish farming with an aim of making extra cash.
Gucha Sub County Deputy Commissioner Emmanuel Ngala Mwachiro while at the event assured farmers of government support. He said the government works hand in hand with KTDA to create an ample environment for the farmers.
Mwachiro added that the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders has invested heavily in research to give farmers quality seedlings and train them on best agricultural practices to reap big from their farms.
Over 200 small scale tea farmers have been trained on the best diversified farming at Ogembo tea zone.
By Misheba Alfred